WS Atkins calls off Bovis talks

Click to follow
WS ATKINS, the consulting engineer, called off talks with P&O over the acquisition of Bovis, the transport group's construction arm. The announcement triggered a 17 per cent rise in Atkins's share price to 532.5p as the market expressed its relief.

Industry analysts were worried that Atkins would dilute its strong earnings growth by overpaying for Bovis. P&O was believed to have requested pounds 350m and a 10 to 15 per cent stake in Atkins to sell Bovis, which last year had a turnover of pounds 1.8bn.