Contractor buys Californian programme management firm for $116m

Balfour Beatty has bought American programme management firm Douglas E Barnhart for $116m (£60m).

The group, which is based in California and employs 450 people, will operate as part of Balfour Beatty’s professional services arm Heery International.

Ian Tyler, Balfour Beatty chief executive

Ian Tyler, Balfour Beatty chief executive, said: “California is one of the US’s fastest growing markets offering substantial opportunity in education and other construction management markets.”

Barnhart is the largest construction management and building company in San Diego and the sixth largest education sector builder in the US.

Its executive management team will all continue in their current roles.

In the year to 30 September 2007, Barnhart turned over $530m (£272m) and had an operating profit of $17m (£8.7m). It has a confirmed order book of $1.1bn (£564m).

Balfour Beatty will pay for the deal in cash. Last month it raised £180m through a rights issue to fund acquisitions.