The UK's biggest contractor makes a £32m recommended bid for Northampton-based contractor Birse Group.

The UK's biggest contractor, Balfour Beatty, has made a £32m recommended bid for Birse Group.

The bid has been offered at 16.625 pence per Birse share and has been backed by Birse's board of directors.

The bid is expected to deliver value for both Birse and Balfour Beatty shareholders as Balfour's financial strength should accelerate the development of Birse's business.

Ian Tyler, chief executive of Balfour Beatty said: "The acquisition of Birse is a substantial step in delivering Balfour Beatty's stated strategy of expanding and strengthening its regional presence in the UK civil engineering and building sectors. We are confident that by bringing the two businesses together, we can accelerate growth and significantly improve performance."

Birse Group is a £110m turnover contractor based in Northampton and Cheshire