New Balfour Beatty CEO Quits, Parsons Sale Possible after Profits Plunge

Balfour Beatty CEO Andrew McNaughton, who took over the company about a year ago, stepped down when the company recently warned 2014 profits in its UK construction business would be $51 million lower than expected. The $4-billion general contractor's market value dropped nearly 20% after the profit warning.

A Balfour Beatty trading update on first-quarter 2014 results said strategic review suggested selling Parsons Brinckerhoff, the $2-million-per-year engineering company acquired in 2009. Even though Parsons' design/build and public/private partnerships business has grown, "having professional services and construction capabilities combined within one organization has not delivered material competitive advantage for the group.”

"Our recent strategic review has concluded that a sale of Parsons Brinckerhoff could deliver attractive shareholder value and make Balfour Beatty a simpler and more focused group going forward,” said Steve Marshall, Balfour Beatty executive chairman.

(more on fallout from Balfour Beatty's profit warning . . . )