Balfour Beatty completes sale of Parsons Brinckerhoff to WSP

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Balfour Beatty completes sale of Parsons Brinckerhoff to WSP

Balfour Beatty announced last week that it has completed the sale of Parsons Brinckerhoff to WSP Global Inc.

The net cash consideration of US$1,242 million (£753 million) represents a multiple of 11 times underlying EBITDA for the year ended 31 December 2013.

Balfour Beatty said the cash proceeds are intended to be used, after deductions for transaction taxes, fees and other transactional costs of approximately £50 million, together with certain separation-related costs of £30 million, as follows:

  • up to £200 million to be returned to shareholders through a share buyback programme to start following the announcement of Balfour Beatty's 2014 preliminary results, subject to the Board's assessment of the trading environment at the time
  • £85 million to be used to reduce the Group's pension fund deficit; and
  • the balance to be retained by the Group to ensure a strong balance sheet and provide increased financial flexibility.

Following the disposal of Parsons Brinckerhoff, Balfour Beatty will be an £8 billion turnover business comprising:

  • top tier construction businesses in the UK and US, operating across the infrastructure and building sectors
  • a  leading  investments  business,  with  a  full  range  of  finance,  development,  ownership  and  asset management  capabilities
  • a  services  division  with  a  number  of  specialist  construction  and  asset  management  businesses  which naturally  complement  and  enhance  the  Group's  other activities and
  • construction joint ventures in the Far East and Middle East.
Balfour Beatty bought Parsons Brinckerhoff in September 2009 for £382 million and announced its plan to sell the business in May to simplify its operations.WSP Global said that the acquisition is a good platform for growth because:
  • Significantly strengthens WSP's presence in the US, where Parsons Brinckerhoff has a solid, stable business which employs approximately 5,000 employees.
  • Positions WSP as a key player in the US transportation segment.
  • Expands WSP's presence in the UK and provides the firm with a stronger presence in key growth regions such as Asia and Australia.

Executive Chairman Steve Marshall said:

"This sale represents a significant return on Balfour Beatty's investment and a compelling level of value creation for shareholders. Following the sale, Balfour Beatty will be a simplified and more focused Group.  It has  leading positions in the UK and US construction and infrastructure markets, all supported by a strong balance sheet.  Leo Quinn joins as Group Chief Executive in the New Year to take the Group forward and to drive shareholder value."

Headquartered in New York City, Parsons Brinckerhoff is a global professional services firm with a network of approximately 170 offices and nearly 13,500 employees on five continents. The firm is a premier infrastructure consultancy providing services in transportation, power, energy, community development, water, mining and environment segments.

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