O'Rourke, Alfred McAlpine and even Bovis' Australian parent Lend Lease were among the names touted. All three denied they would bid for the whole group.
So Ferrovial is prepared to take on what Amey's UK competitors have shied away from. The biggest problem it will face is the company's debt, estimated at £190m, built up in Amey's rush into PFI and other ill-judged ventures.
What does Ferrovial get for its £81m? First, a decent roads maintenance business, including seemingly strong relationships with the Highways Agency and local authorities.
Second, a stake in the biggest PPP project in Europe – the London Underground.
Third, a network of facilities management and other business outsourcing companies.
Finally, and less enticingly, there is a ragbag of problems, such as contracts that are being wound down or sold. These could throw up unexpected problems.
Ferrovial, like most of the Spanish giants, is well run and no doubt has the financial clout and long-term view required to tackle these issues.
As for Amey's shareholders … well, they probably got the best they could hope for.
But the 32p-a-share offer is scant consolation for anybody who held shares when they were worth £4.