Skanska has bought streetwork contractor McNicholas for £50m.

The acquisition of “Brown Macs” (which is not to be confused with McNicholas Construction ) doubles the turnover of Skanska UK’s utilities business. This now stands at £300m.

David Fison, the chief executive of Skanska UK, said: “We decided a few years ago that we would like the business to be better balanced and we saw utilities as a growing area because of the increasing regulatory pressure on utility companies.”

Fison ruled out further purchases in the short term, saying “the priority is to bed down this one”.

McNicholas will be merged with Skanska UK’s existing utilities operating unit and will operate as Skanska McNicholas.