Recovering construction giant Balfour Beatty won’t be turning the tables on its ailing rival Carillion with an opportunistic takeover bid, boss Leo Quinn said on Wednesday.
Carillion, which took a tilt at Balfour three years ago when the builder was facing its own crisis, shocked the market last month with a dire profit warning after £845 million in contract write-offs and mounting debts. Quinn has made solid strides on reviving Balfour.
He doubled first-half pre-tax profits to £22 million and generated £161 million in cash, helping the shares rise 5%, or 13.5p, to 275.9p.
The chief executive said “cash doesn’t lie”, adding: “If I wanted to have a loss-making company, I’d sell projects at a loss, I don’t need to buy a company to do that. It’s not of interest to us. We’re focused on our transformation.”
He added: “Carillion have got a good brand, they’ve got good people but this industry is notorious for people stubbing their toe and they come back stronger.
“Look at our transformation. I think Carillion will work through this. It will probably be a smaller company at the end of it, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.”
The infrastructure group’s London projects include the revamp of the Lighthouse Building near King’s Cross as well as three major Crossrail contracts.