Services group buys GMH Communities Trust which specialises in accommodation for the American armed services

Balfour Beatty has bought a US-based military accommodation business for $350m (£179.3m).

The services group signed a takeover deal with GMH Communities Trust, a US real estate investment trust. GMH Military Housing offers services in development, renovation, financing, operation and management to military accommodation projects for the US Department of the Army, US Department of the Navy and US Department of the Air Force.

Its turnover in 2006 stood at $102m (£53.3m), with profits of $26.8m (£13.7m).

The business is currently involved in 15 projects in the US for which it provides development and property management services.

The company is based in Philadelphia, while 750 of its 800 employees are based on the project sites.

Ian Tyler, chief executive of Balfour Beatty commented: “The acquisition of GMH's military accommodation business is central to implementing our US strategy of building a high-quality, domestic US business similar to our very successful UK model. It adds a major, high-quality PPP business to our US group in one of our key target market sectors. GMH will be an excellent springboard into other emerging PPP and support service sectors in the US market.”

The news of the acquisition comes as Balfour Beatty Ireland announced the appointment of a new managing director. John Keaveney has taken over from Eamon Corcoran who retired at the end of 2007.