Richard Weston heads up new division, to be called John Laing Projects & Developments

John Laing has created a fresh arm for its non-PFI work as part of a restructure that has also led to the disappearance of the social infrastructure brand Equion.

The division, known as John Laing Projects & Developments, will be responsible for work including the government’s private developer scheme for courts, further education and rail projects such as the development of stations.

Richard Weston is managing director of the division, which employs about 40 people. He said: “There were lots of schemes that were not PFI and involved disposals and project management but used the same skills as PFI. The division allows the rail business and the infrastructure businesses to concentrate on their work.”

Among the projects the division is working on are Aylesbury Vale station and car park in Buckinghamshire. It is also bidding for the Hastings Further Education College development in East Sussex.

Other divisions have been revamped in the reorganisation:

  • Laing Rail, headed by Adrian Shooter, which includes the Chiltern Railways franchise
  • The infrastructure arm, led by David Hardy, which is responsible for PFI projects for roads, waste, utilities and all of John Laing’s international work
  • The social infrastructure group, which looks for PFI developments for hospitals, schools and defence and includes the former Equion business.
The changes come at a time when John Laing is in the middle of an £887m takeover bid by Henderson Fund Management. The board has accepted the offer from the fund, which is equal to 355p a share. No rival bidders have yet emerged but many industry insiders believe other institutional investors have been taking a close look.

Any rival bid would have 90 days from the time the Henderson offer was accepted on 19 October. John Laing shareholders are due to vote on the Henderson offer on Wednesday. In its interim results to 30 June, pre-tax-profit fell 11% to £12.3m on a revenue of £240m for the six months.