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Balfour rejects £1bn PPP bid

Balfour Beatty has rejected a £1bn bid for its public-private partnership assets.

The construction giant said the offer from John Laing Infrastructure Fund fell “significantly” short of its valuation of the portfolio.

John Laing told the City earlier this week that it would be “an ideal owner” of the assets.

But Balfour - which this summer increased the valuation of its PPP portfolio from £720M to £1.05bn – insisted that figure had risen again.

“The Board has concluded that the proposal [from John Laing Infrastructure Fund] falls significantly short of its own view of the value of the portfolio, and accordingly the proposal has been rejected,” said Balfour Beatty in a statement.

“The group’s targeted approach to selling individual assets as each investment matures, combined with the current and expected future strength of the market, leads the board to conclude that the realisable value of the PPP portfolio continues to be substantially in excess of the current directors’ valuation. This has been recently evidenced by the disposal of an investment at a 28% premium to the half-year directors’ valuation.”

Balfour said it would publish a new valuation of the assets in January, along with a value of investments in the pipeline.

“In combination, these will set out the board’s view of a market value for the existing PPP portfolio and the pipeline,” it said.

Balfour added that the key findings from KPMG’s review of projects in its troubled UK construction business would also be published in January.

With former defence sector boss Leo Quinn joining as chief executive on New Year’s Day, January is set to be a big month for the company.

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