Tarmac spins off construction arm as Carillion

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TARMAC, the construction and aggregates group, is to rename its construction arm Carillion when it reveals details of its demerger tomorrow.

Carillion, a corruption of the word carillon which means a peal of bells, will be quoted separately from the heavy materials business, which is to retain the Tarmac name. It will be chaired by Sir Neville Simms, Tarmac's chief executive.

A Tarmac spokesperson said the rebranding was intended to give the construction business a clearly defined, separate identity.

The choice of name is also an attempt to distance the group from its traditional base in construction and emphasise instead its service sector strengths, particularly its Private Finance Initiative projects.

"Carillion has a big involvement in facilities management, in PFI and in rail maintenance. It's not just a construction business anymore," the company said.

The name change is the latest in a long line of unusual name changes. Others include Diageo, chosen after the merger of Guinness and Grand Metropolitan, Elementis, the renamed Harrison & Crosfield, and bus company Arriva, formerly the T Cowie Group.

Analysts said that as well as retaining the Tarmac name, the aggregates group will also take on all of the original company's pounds 317m of debt.

Tarmac is expected to have a market capitalisation of pounds 1.23bn. Carillion, which has 14,000 employees and annual turnover of more than pounds 1.8bn, is likely to have a market capitalisation of just pounds 200m.