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US specialist eyes Babtie

US CONSULTANT Jacobs Engineering is in talks to acquire Glasgow-based private consultant Babtie in a bid to become one of the biggest infrastructure specialists in the world.

Jacob chief executive Noel Watson said:'Our view is that Babtie, coupled with a similar scaled operation in the US, will provide the foundation to achieve our goal of global leadership.'

Jacobs has a turnover of almost £3 billion and employs 35,000 people worldwide providing construction technical and professional services.

Babtie, whose turnover was just under £180 million in 2003, employs 3,500 people.