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Leadbitter for sale as Dutch parent suffers

The ‘For sale’ sign has been hoisted above Leadbitter, after Dutch parent Heijmans said it wanted to focus on its core home markets.

Heijmans bought Leadbitter in 2003, but in a statement last week it said that due to disappointing results, it wanted to dispose of all its foreign operations except for its infrastructure activities in Belgium.

The firm, which is a big regional player based in Abingdon, is now considering its options with a management buy-out one possibility.

The firm made around £10 million of profits before tax on £328 million of revenue in 2008 its 2009 revenue is expected to be slightly up on that, with profits around the same.

Insiders at the company say there are a variety of possibilities on the table, with a sale also mooted. Asked about an MBO, a source said: “That wouldn’t be impossible”.

Heijmans said last week: “In response to the economic crisis, Heijmans is now further adjusting its strategy, strengthening its financial position and has negotiated new arrangements with its financiers.

“As previously announced, Heijmans will in the future focus on its three core activities in the Netherlands, in which Heijmans has a strong position. These are property development and residential building, non-rsidential building and technical services and Infrastructure. As a consequence, Heijmans will dispose of all foreign operations, except for its infrastructure activities in Belgium.”

Heijmans is also pursuing a rights issue and has negotiated new banking arrangements.