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Balfour Beatty snaps up Dean and Dyball for £45M

Regional contractor Dean and Dyball became Balfour Beatty's latest acquisition last week as the mega construction business continued its drive to build its business in regional markets.

Balfour Beatty paid £45M for the business which employs 1,200 staff and is due to turn over around £320M this financial year.

Half the turnover is in building work, £40M is produced by Dean & Dyball Rail and £120M is accounted for by civil engineering.

Civil engineering and rail will continue to trade under the Dean & Dyball name as part of Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering. But building will be absorbed into the Mansell family of business units operated by Balfour Beatty.

The acquisition is Balfour Beatty's largest civils purchase in the UK since it bought Birse for £32M in 2006. It bought social housing contractor Cowlin for £52M in August last year.

The civils business was the big attraction for Balfour Beatty. "The great thing about Dean & Dyball is that it fits nice and neatly geographically where we are not very strong," said Balfour Beatty group managing director Andrew McNaughton, who led negotiations for the buyout. Dean & Dyball is a major player in local projects in the south, south west and Wales.

The civils arm has a strong record in coastal and marine works and framework agreements with the Environment Agency, Thames Water and the RNLI.

McNaughton did the deal with Dean & Dyball chief executive Adrian Dyball, son of founder Peter Dyball.

The sale was prompted by Peter Dyball's desire to release his interests in the company.

He owned a third of the firm which he founded in 1969. Adrian Dyball held another third and the company's directors had the remaining 33%.

Adrian Dyball has left the firm following the sale. Chairman Martin Hirst is managing the hand over and construction director Chris Haworth is leading the business.

"We are very pleased to be part of the Balfour Beatty group," said Hirst.

The company had recognised that to develop further it needed serious investment that was not available to it as a private company, he said.
"There will be a lot of opportunity for the company and the staff from being part of such a big and successful organisation," Hirst said this week.

McNaughton and Hirst presented the deal to staff at the Ringmer headquarters last week. McNaughton scored a hit with the tight knit south coast fraternity when he revealed he spent a year working with Southampton based Gifford.

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