John Laing poised for return to stock market

John Laing is regarded as one of the pioneers of public-private partnership deals

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The Independent Online

One of the oldest names in construction is this week expected to announce a stock market flotation worth up to £1bn, nine years after it was taken private.

John Laing, founded in Cumbria in 1848, will return to the London Stock Exchange after its owner, the City fund manager Henderson, decided not to sell it to the Australian bank Macquarie.

Money raised from the listing will be used to fuel expansion in areas such as Australia, where it recently began working on a new 60,000-seat stadium in Perth. Closer to home, it has worked on projects including the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff and the second Severn Crossing.

RBC Capital Markets and HSBC have been hired to work on the initial public offering, which is another sign of renewed enthusiasm for flotations in the City. Trainline and the tool company HSS have announced plans to go private.

John Laing is regarded as one of the pioneers of public-private partnership deals, which use private financing for public projects such as roads and hospitals. Although it is no longer a builder, it raises money for projects, and manages contractors and assets on behalf of the public sector.

Henderson’s £887m acquisition of John Laing in 2006 led to parts of the business being offloaded. Its building arm had already been sold to Ray O’Rourke in 2001 for £1 after running into difficulties during the Millennium Stadium project.

Jeremy Beeton, former director-general of the Olympic Executive is also set to join its board.

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