Vinci Construction UK has acquired the Property Solutions and East Anglian Projects divisions of troubled top 100 contractor Haymills, it has been revealed.
Haymills is understood to have entered administration briefly before Vinci signed the deal.
Property Solutions carries out facilities management and maintenance, particularly in the social housing and defence sectors.
East Anglian Projects undertakes small to medium new build and refurbishment projects throughout the region, and will become part of the regional contracting division of Vinci Construction UK.
David Joyce, chief operating officer of Vinci plc, and managing director of Vinci Construction UK, said: “The acquisition is a significant step in our strategy of consolidating our presence in the sectors of FM and maintenance, as well as giving us a presence in the East Anglian region through the contracting side of the Haymills business.”
Haymills – which had a turnover of £181.2 million for the year ended 31 March 2008 – had been the subject of intense speculation since putting its Gibraltar arm into voluntary liquidation last week.
It was forced to delay payment of staff wages and money owed to sub-contractors after RBS removed its overdraft facility.
An administrator-elect was given four offers to choose from on Friday. Vinci was said to have been Haymill’s favoured buyer as it would save the most work.
Vinci was created in 1899 by French engineers Alexandre Giros and Louis Loucheur, and has become one of the largest construction firms in the world. It has a worldwide turnover of €33.5 billion (£28.7 billion), and employs 164,000 people.
Its UK operations now put it into the top 10 contractors this side of the Channel. This acquisition could put it on the verge of a top five spot.
Vinci has acquired a number of regional UK contractors over the past few years. In January 2008, it bought Cardiff-based contractor Stradform, and a few weeks later it acquired Newcastle-based Gordon Durham.
Last September, Vinci acquired house builder Taylor Wimpey’s contracting arm Taylor Woodrow for £74 million.