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Balfour bolsters US presence with £58m takeover

Balfour Beatty has acquired US contracting firm Howard S Wright for £58 million.

The Californian-based HSW provides preconstruction, general contracting and construction management services across a wide range of sectors including office, health, education and housing. 

Balfour said its entry into northern California and the Pacific Northwest is in line with its US strategy and follows the takeover of SpawMaxwell in Houston, as well as recent growth in southern California through Barnhart Balfour Beatty.

Chief executive Ian Tyler said:  “HSW is an excellent geographic and strategic fit with our existing US capabilities, and the acquisition extends Balfour Beatty’s skill base and reach in northern California and the US Pacific Northwest - a significant growth market that is emerging from the downturn.”

The combined business of Balfour Beatty Construction US and HSW reportedly represents the third largest construction services provider in the US general building market.

HSW generated revenues of £257m and pre-tax profits of £14.6m in the year ended 30 September 2010. Its order book at 31 May 2011 was £419.5m.

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