David Prosser: Balfour Beatty builds itself a global future
Friday 18 September 2009
Outlook Balfour Beatty's origins lie in the days of empire, when it exported its engineering and construction skills to Britain's colonies and dependencies around the world. In recent times, Balfour has been a little more parochial, but yesterday's deal to buy America's Parsons Brinckerhoff will once again give it a much greater presence on the global stage, increasing the business's exposure to the US by a third.
That's in keeping with chief executive Ian Tyler's ambition to achieve much greater geographical diversification. And it's a sensible strategy – US fiscal stimulus money is working its way through to construction projects just as the UK looks set to rein-back on large-scale public spending projects.
Not that Balfour is short of work on this side of the pond, busy at it is widening London's orbital motorway and with Olympics construction contracts such as the aquatic centre. Its maintenance business also offers some protection from a construction downturn.
While this acquisition is Balfour's biggest ever deal, shareholders are likely to support the £353m rights issue planned to pay for it, with the company's strong balance sheet and growth having sheltered them from the worst effects of the recession so far. After all, this is a cash call to fund expansion, not the sort of rescue rights issue seen elsewhere in recent months.
Nor will the markets be disappointed to see another takeover looming into sight, albeit not quite on the scale of Kraft's putative bid for Cadbury or the UK merger of T-Mobile and Orange. Good to see that Balfour is doing its bit to build confidence in the increasingly optimistic M&A market.
food + drinkMichelin-starred Tom Sellers on being this year's hottest property
tvParents (and kids) rejoice! A new wave of fantastic family entertainment is here
booksGeese, gorillas, grandads... and growing up
food + drinkHow one grocery e-tailer is gearing up for the Yuletide rush
food + drink
travelFor broadcaster Mishal Husain, a long-haul Club Med holiday was a chance for her family to explore its sense of 'zen' and 'animation'
Nelson Mandela: 11 inspirational quotes to live your life by
Queen to miss Nelson Mandela funeral over security and long-haul flight concerns
'Never a good time to increase MPs' pay': Jack Straw defends politicians' 11% pay rise in face of public outrage
The 'terrorist' and the Tories: What did Nelson Mandela really think of Margaret Thatcher?
Japan cracks down on leaks after scandal of Fukushima nuclear power plant
- 1 Hundreds arrested as Canadian police smash worldwide paedophile ring
- 2 Sherlock series 3: Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman provide teasers for the biggest comeback in British television
- 3 The man who made Femen: New film outs Victor Svyatski as the mastermind behind the protest group and its breast-baring stunts
- 4 Mass murder in the Middle East is funded by our friends the Saudis
- 5 Japan cracks down on leaks after scandal of Fukushima nuclear power plant
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£25000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C++ Server Dev...
£300 - £350 per day: Harrington Starr: Leading Electronic Trading Software Ven...
£80000 - £100000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Harrington Starr: Project Manag...
£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Harrington Starr: Business Analy...