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Balfour Beatty shareholders approve Parsons Brinckerhoff sale

Balfour Beatty shareholders have approved the sale of Parsons Brinckerhoff to WSP Global at its general meeting today.

A majority of 93 per cent of votes were cast in favour of the sale of the US consultancy to Canadian-owned WSP Global for £820m, which was announced in September.

Balfour Beatty said the completion of the transaction was expected shortly.

The total number of votes cast was 487,254,278, with 8,168,411 votes withheld, with each share of 50 pence in issue at 6pm on Monday 27 October worth one vote.

Of the votes cast, 93.24 per cent were in favour of the sale and 6.76 per cent opposed the disposal.

In a circular to shareholders earlier this month, Balfour Beatty executive chairman Steve Marshall warned that the group could be at risk of financial default if shareholders failed to approve the sale of Parsons Brinckerhoff.

Analysts at Jeffries had encouraged Balfour Beatty shareholders to vote against the disposal to give the contractor’s new chief executive Leo Quinn an opportunity to make an assessment of the business first.

Mr Marshall said: “This sale represents a significant return on Balfour Beatty’s investment and a compelling level of value creation for shareholders.

“Balfour Beatty is now a simpler, stronger and more focused business, and with Leo Quinn joining as new CEO in the New Year the business is well positioned for the future as the construction and infrastructure markets develop.”

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