Contractor says any successful deal would be funded by a rights issue

Balfour Beatty has revealed it is in advanced discussions for a “significant and complementary acquisition”.

In a statement to the stock exchange the contractor said the deal would be substantially funded by a rights issue if it went ahead.

The firm said it was releasing the news following recent press speculation.

If the acquisition were to go ahead, said the company, it would “materially accelerate the fulfilment of its existing strategy”.

Balfour Beatty workers
Balfour Beatty workers

The news follows rumours in the press that Balfour Beatty was readying a surprise rights issue of up to £350m to fund an acquisition.

Bankers at JP Morgan Cazenove and Hoare Govett, now a part of Royal Bank of Scotland, have been appointed to run the rights issue, according to the Telegraph, which said the issue is expected to be launched in days.

Balfour Beatty insisted there was no certainty that the acquisition would proceed, and said that a further announcement on the issue would be made at a later date.