Bouygues in € 45 million Leadbitter acquisition

By Helen Wright29 December 2010

Martin Bouygues, chairman and CEO of the Bouygues group

Martin Bouygues, chairman and CEO of the Bouygues group

Bouygues Bâtiment International (BBI), a subsidiary of industrial conglomerate Bouygues, has acquired the controlling stake in Heijmans' UK housing construction subsidiary Leadbitter for £ 59 million (€ 45 million).

Dutch builder Heijmans said it would book a € 5 million profit on the sale, and added that the deal would also cut its net debt by € 15 million.

The sale is in line with the company's previously-announced strategy of focussing on the Dutch and Belgian infrastructure markets.

Heijmans reported a net loss in 2008 and cut 1300 jobs in 2009. The company last year moved to reduce its debt by refocusing its group strategy and raising € 100 million in a rights issue.

Leadbitter's brands include Denne Construction and the group is expected to record revenues of £ 340 million (€ 400 million) in 2010.

The deal saw BBI form a joint venture with Leadbitter's management, including founder and chief executive Bob Rendell, to buy 51% of Leadbitter from its parent.

BBI said it would purchase the remaining 49% of equity from the Leadbitter management team within four years.

Paris-based industrial conglomerate Bouygues said its additional capacity would give Leadbitter more leverage when negotiating new UK contracts.

"The additional capacity provided by Bouygues Construction will enable Leadbitter to strengthen its position on value added projects and on new procedures for awarding public contracts," the company said, adding that Leadbitter would also benefit from synergies with its existing UK businesses, which include Bouygues UK, Warings and ETDE.

Olivier-Marie Racine, BBI chairman and chief executive, described the joint venture agreement as "an excellent illustration of our development strategy in sustainable locations in the most buoyant regions of England".

Leadbitter operates primarily in the south of England and Wales.

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