UK's biggest contractor confirms that it has made an approach for Mowlem to rival Carllion's £291m bid.

Balfour Beatty, the UK’s biggest contractor, this morning said that it was considering making an offer for Mowlem to rival Carillion’s £291m bid.

In a statement to the stock exchange Balfour Beatty confirmed that it has made an approach to Mowlem but said: “There is no certainty that an offer will be forthcoming. A further announcement will be made in due course.”

However, the Mowlem board has already recommended Carillion’s 205p a share offer, announced last Wednesday. At the time, Mowlem chief executive confirmed that another company had undertaken due diligence but did not name Balfour Beatty and said that no offer had materialised.

If Balfour Beatty does make a rival offer, it is highly likely to be higher, and there is speculation that it is considering a price of between 218p and 222p.