Balfour Beatty rejects £1bn John Laing offer

The ailing construction giant is still willing to drive a hard bargain.

by Jack Torrance

Balfour Beatty is in trouble and could do with a bit of spare cash, but apparently isn’t panicky enough to sell off its assets on the cheap. Today it rejected a £1bn offer from John Laing Infrastructure Fund (JLIF) for its investments arm which includes 60 PFI contracts.

JLIF is a FTSE 250 listed investor in roads, schools and hospitals, and currently has 54 PFI deals of its own. The £1bn offer only slightly falls short of the £1.05bn Balfour directors had valued the portfolio at, but the board has other ideas.

It said that given ‘current and expected future strength of the market’, and a recent sale which exceeded directors’ valuations by 28%, the assets were worth ‘substantially in excess of the current directors’ valuation'.

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