Construction-to-services group Peterhouse says it wants to attract investment by acquiring a listed company, probably a services-based firm, in the next nine months.

Chairman David Jackson said Peterhouse must increase its market capitalisation from £56m to £100m-150m because many investors were not interested in smaller companies.

Peterhouse Group, which floated on the stock market in September 1997, began life as Bradford builder Totty Construction. It has already acquired an environmental arm and a services division.

The expansion plans were revealed when Jackson announced interim results for the half year ended 30 June 1999. Pre-tax profit increased 147% to £3.5m and turnover 194% to £97.1m.

The group does most business in the North and East Anglia, but Jackson says he has no plans to become a national contractor.

Steven Rawlinson, analyst at stockbroker Peel and Hunt, said of its growth plans: “It would be a big leap, but even at £150m market cap, it is still talking to the same bunch of fund managers. It is, however, well run, ambitious and aggressive.”