Carillion Said to Try to Revive Balfour Merger Talks

Carillion Plc has approached rival construction firm Balfour Beatty Plc to revive merger talks that collapsed in late July, according to two people familiar with the situation.

Carillion reached out to Balfour Beatty executives to make the case that market reaction to the breakdown of their discussions makes re-starting talks desirable, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private.

Carillion is still insisting that Parsons Brinckerhoff, a New York-based Balfour Beatty unit specializing in engineering, should become part of the combined company, the people said. Balfour’s refusal to cancel a proposed sale of Parsons Brinckerhoff was behind its decision to break off earlier talks, and makes the company reluctant to re-open negotiations, one of the people said.

The two companies haven’t re-entered serious discussions, the person said.

A merger would combine Carillion’s extensive services business with Balfour’s building operations, which have struggled with a slowdown in construction activity. Carillion, based in Wolverhampton, England, has been expanding its maintenance offerings for industries like rail and telecommunications.

Neither company immediately returned calls seeking comment. Efforts to revive the deal were reported yesterday by The Sunday Times.

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