Balfour Beatty Acquires Second US Contractor in a Month

Balfour Beatty Acquires Second US Contractor in a Month

Balfour Beatty, the international infrastructure group, announces today that Balfour Beatty Construction US ("BBC") has reached agreement to acquire Howard S. Wright ("HSW") for an estimated net cash consideration of US$93 million (£58 million) for a zero net assets balance sheet. US$70 million (£44 million) is payable at closing with a further amount to be paid on an earn-out basis over 4.5 years, conditional on the satisfaction of certain financial projections. The earn-out is estimated to be US$23 million and is capped at US$40 million.

HSW provides preconstruction, general contracting and construction management services across a wide range of sectors including corporate office, healthcare, education, data centres and multi-family housing.

Entry into the buildings construction market in Northern California and the Pacific Northwest is in line with BBC's national expansion strategy and follows its acquisition of SpawMaxwell in Houston and its recent growth in Southern California through Barnhart Balfour Beatty. HSW represents a perfect geographic fit for BBC with its strong presence in Portland, Seattle, San Francisco and Phoenix - growth markets emerging from the economic downturn. The combined business of BBC and HSW represents the third largest construction services provider in the US general building market based on 2010 figures published by Engineering News-Record (ENR).

HSW generated revenues of US$401 million (£257 million) and pre-tax profits of US$22.7 million (£14.6 million) in the year ended 30 September 2010 and had gross assets of US$162 million as at 30 September 2010. In the five reporting periods to 30 September 2010, HSW's average annual revenue was approximately US$680 million and its average profit margin was just over 2.5%. HSW's order book at 31 May 2011 was US$675 million.

HSW has similar corporate values to those of BBC and represents an excellent cultural fit. The company will retain its senior leadership team within BBC, and trade under the name "Howard S. Wright – a Balfour Beatty Company".

Balfour Beatty Chief Executive, Ian Tyler, commented:

"Howard S. Wright is a well-regarded company with a strong reputation for quality as evidenced by its blue-chip customers, and is a leader in sustainable building. HSW is an excellent geographic and strategic fit with our existing US capabilities, and the acquisition extends Balfour Beatty's skill base and reach in Northern California and the US Pacific Northwest, a significant growth market that is emerging from the downturn."