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Carillion’s extra sweetener fails to satisfy Balfour Beatty board

20 Aug 14 Balfour Beatty is still not happy with Carillion’s proposed business plan for a proposed merger of the two companies, despite Carillion yesterday improving the money on the table for Balfour Beatty shareholders.

There will therefore be no extension of the ‘put up or shut up’ deadline of 5pm tomorrow (21st August 2014).

Yesterday Carillion offered Balfour Beatty shareholders a 58.268% share of the joint company, instead of the previously suggested 56.5%, adding £200m to its valuation of the Balfour Beatty business.

But Balfour Beatty said that two deal breakers still remain. The first is Carillion’s business plan to shut most of Balfour Beatty’s UK construction business just when it is poised to benefit from market recovery. The second is Carillion’s insistence that the sale of US subsidiary Parsons Brinckerhoff should be scrapped.

Balfour Beatty’s board has unanimously concluded that the new proposal is still not in the best interests of its shareholders and has decided to reject the proposal.

Balfour Beatty said that it would therefore not be seeking an extension from the Panel on Takeovers & Mergers to allow any more time for talking. It reiterated its intention to remain on its independent path and sell Parsons Brinckerhoff. Canada’s WSP is reported to be the main name in the frame for this.

It also remains on a quest for a CEO. It has been without one for more than three months now, since sacking Andrew McNaughton on 6th May.

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