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Pearce takeover puts ISG in reach of annual top ten

ISG’s £22m acquisition of Pearce lifts it into the top 20 of the Emap Glenigan contractors league table for November. By Steve Menary

The race for the 2007 contracts league title is hotting up with a number of firms vying for pole position.

Each year Emap Glenigan and Construction News compile a table of deals won by the UK’s contrators over the past 12 months. This year Bovis Lend Lease is just ahead of Balfour Beatty in top spot but Laing O’Rourke and Morgan Sindall are hot on their heels in third and fourth place respectively.

With major projects due to drop out of the 12-month rolling totals of a number of leading contenders, a bumper month could even bring fifth placed Sir Robert McAlpine into contention for the top slot.

Multiplex heads the monthly table after being lined up for the £500 million Pinnacle tower scheme in London, while further down the table another month of acquisition activity has had an effect.

Galliford Try’s £9.3 million acquisition of social housing contractor Kendall Cross did nothing for the firm’s totals according to Emap Glenigan but ISG has leapt up the table a few places after buying Pearce.

The acquisition cost up to £21.8 million and provided a timely fillip for Alternative Investment Market listed-ISG.

Pearce bagged five contracts worth a total of £19 million in November and was in 44th spot. Including all the contracts for Pearce in ISG’s total lifts the business from 24th to 15th.

ISG shoots up yearly table

In the annual tables, ISG was ranked in 16th spot, with Ł669 million of work before the Pearce acquisition.

Pearce also featured in the top 50 but down at 47th spot with 49 contracts valued at £144 million.

Combining these jobs into the total for the group’s new owner sends ISG flying up to 13th spot with a contract book for the last year worth £813 million.

Although known primarily as a Bristol-based outfit, Pearce’s strongest speciality was in retail work and jobs in this sector provided the bulk of the firm’s contracts over the last year.

In the retail sector, Pearce was ranked eighth with 27 jobs worth £79 million. ISG was one rung outside the top 10 at eleventh but inclusion of the Pearce jobs takes the newly enlarged group up to fifth place with £138 million-worth of work.

In the commercial sector, ISG was already in ninth place and inclusion of Pearce’s four contracts totalling £24 million does not improve this ranking.

Pearce made a costly retreat from the Procure 21 health programme - despite success with the handful of jobs it did - and it does not show in this sector.

Pearce’s regional strength is the South-west with 30 jobs worth £91 million in a region where ISG had no presence at all. Although the acquisition may not see ISG join the industry titans challenging for the title, the group should still finish 2007 in a record position.

For more information on Emap Glenigan league tables email

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