Totty Construction parent aiming for market capitalisation of £400m by 2002 through acquisition of high-margin businesses.
David Jackson, chairman of Peterhouse Group, has revealed plans to treble the company’s stock market value within two years to make it one of the UK’s 350 most valuable listed companies.

Jackson is aiming for a market capitalisation of £400m, which would place it firmly in the FTSE 350. To achieve this, Jackson plans to go on the acquisition trail, although he said he had no plans to buy another contractor or a housebuilder.

Jackson spoke to Building last week during a whirlwind tour of the UK’s financial institutions that was part of his plan to attract further investment from fund managers.

Peterhouse, which is made up of 25 trading businesses including Bradford-based Totty Construction, is already construction’s best-performing stock. Its shares have risen 205% in the past 12 months from 107p to 326p, making it worth £132.2m.

Analysts say a market value of more than £100m will pull in investors that look only at companies worth that amount or more. These are the fund managers Jackson was targeting last week.

Analysts say the key to Peterhouse’s stock market success over the past year has been its policy of buying niche businesses with higher margins than those associated with traditional contracting. The latest example is Eve Group, which Peterhouse bought for £40.6m last month. Eve has a power network maintenance company and another business that provides temporary road access for sporting and other events.

One analyst said: “You now have very specialist investors who recognise that Peterhouse is not following the traditional contracting route of low margins.”

Jackson also plans to try to relist Peterhouse as a support services business to attract more investors.