Balfour Beatty and Galliford Try could lead bidding for £262m turnover regional contractor

Dean & Dyball, the £262m turnover South Coast contractor, has been put up for sale, it is understood.

The construction and civil engineering group would be the latest regional player to sell up as bigger players chase a booming workload in the UK regions through acquisitions. It follows the purchase of Stradform by Vinci for £7m in January, and Cowlin by Balfour Beatty for £52m last August.

Others on the market are thought to include the £160m-turnover Midlands contractor Thomas Vale, although the company has denied it plans to sell. It is thought Dean & Dyball would fetch about £50m.

Potential buyers for the firm, whose projects include the £9m Brixham Harbour regeneration in Devon, are thought to include Balfour Beatty, which is understood to be in “advanced talks” with a regional UK business, Galliford Try and Dutch firm Heijmans.

It is understood that Vinci considered a bid but decided against it because of a geographical overlap in Kent.

Dean & Dyball, which is based in Ringwood, Hampshire, reportedly wants a quick sale ahead of the 6 April deadline for changes to capital gains tax (CGT). Under the new rules, partnerships and individuals will pay a flat rate of 18% if they sell up after that date, compared with a previous maximum rate of 10%.

The company only came into play at the beginning of the year.

Source close to situation

One source said: “The company only came into play at the beginning of the year because the deal is tied into the CGT changes. It may want to move quickly.”

Another source confirmed a sale was on the cards and that confidentiality agreements had been signed with about three potential buyers.

Last year the company made a pre-tax profit of £4.4m. It employs 1,200 people and has 11 offices across the South.

One source said Dean & Dyball might postpone the sale if it fails to find a buyer before 6 April.

Dean & Dyball said it was “not prepared to comment on speculation and rumour”. Balfour Beatty and Galliford Try also declined to comment.