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John Laing to press on with attempt to buy Balfour's PPP assets

John Laing Infrastructure Fund has not given up on buying Balfour Beatty’s public private partnership assets after its latest bid for the portfolio was rejected.

The fund expressed “disappointment” after its offer of £1bn was turned down by the construction giant this morning.

Balfour Beatty said earlier today that the bid fell significantly short of its valued of the assets, which would be revalued in January.

But John Laing said this afternoon: “The Balfour Beatty announcement this morning appeared to use the price of the recent sale of one asset for £61.5M as evidence to support a substantial uplift in valuation for the entire portfolio. JLIF believes this is overly optimistic, considering the evidence from the many transactions in which JLIF has been involved over the intervening months.

“JLIF continues to believe shareholder value for Balfour Beatty will be maximised by these assets being owned by an infrastructure fund with a lower cost of capital, which specialises in investing in low risk, operational infrastructure assets.”

It added: “JLIF awaits with interest another revised valuation of the portfolio from Balfour Beatty and in the meantime will continue to evaluate all other options for unlocking the portfolio.  A further announcement will be made if and when appropriate.”

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