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McNicholas takeover sets Skanska up for utility wins

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CONTRACTOR SKANSKA bought streetworks contractor McNicholas for £50M last week in a bid to win more utilities work. The takeover doubled Skanska's utilities division's turnover to £300M.

Skanska UK chief executive David Fison said that utility companies were looking to work with fims that were able to offer a complete range of services. 'Real efficiency comes in eliminating tieups and interfaces between different bodies in a project, ' said Fison.

We think we have real strength in project management. By buying McNicholas we will have capability on the ground and be able to offer the utilities sector a high level of in-the-eld competence.' Skanska already works with McNicholas in partnership on a National Grid contract to replace 45,000km of metal pipes over the next 30 years.

The contractor was also part of a consortium that last month won a £180M job to upgrade the National Grid's electricity substations in the south east.

Fison said the McNicholas purchase was also welcome as an entry into the highway maintenance market and put Skanska in a better position for potential PFI work.

He added that all divisions of McNicholas would be retained and ruled out redundancies.

'If anything, we will be looking to bring people in to Skanska McNicholas in the near future, ' he said.

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