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Carillion abandons Balfour Beatty courtship

Carillion appears to have given up its pursuit of Balfour Beatty, almost a month after proposing a merger between the two construction giants.

This morning, Balfour Beatty rejected Carillion’s latest proposal and declined to request an extension to the ‘Put Up or Shut Up’ deadline imposed by the City of London, which expires at 5pm on 21 August (tomorrow). In a statement this afternoon, Carillion said that “it is no longer pursuing such a merger”.

Carillion still has the option of launching a hostile takeover bid for Balfour Beatty, bypassing negotiations with its board.

But for the moment, this appears to be the end of an often acrimonious saga, which began on 24 July, and has involved a series of claims and counter-claims about the model for a combined business and projected efficiency savings.

It also means that Balfour Beatty’s planned sale of consulting engineer Parsons Brinckerhoff looks likely to proceed.

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