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Balfour to keep the Birse brand

THE BIRSE name could be kept on once its expected £32 million takeover by Balfour Beatty is completed.

Birse shareholders have until next week to accept or reject the offer, which is due to go unconditional by the end of August at the latest.

One insider said: 'A lot of Balfour's turnover in the UK is done through companies which don't carry the Balfour Beatty name, like Stent and Mansell.

There is a strong loyalty to the Birse name from staff and customers alike.'

The takeover has to be rubber stamped by the Office of Fair Trading and the submission for its clearance was sent off to OFT off icials last Friday.

Chairman Peter Watson and managing director Martin Budden will leave once the deal is completed but the future of the three remaining executive directors - Gerry Roche, Phil Harris and Andrew Church - is still unclear.

A source said: 'There is an element of personal choice in all of this but it's easier for the other three to recreate their jobs in the enlarged structure.'