WSP GLOBAL: Balfour Beatty plc announced on October 31 that it had completed the sale of Parsons Brinckerhoff to WSP Global Inc for a net cash consideration of £753m. According to Balfour Beatty, this represents ‘a multiple of 11 times underlying EBITDA for the year ended December 31 2013’.

Less taxes, fees and ‘other transactional costs’ of £30m, and ‘certain separation-related costs’ of £30m, the cash proceeds will be used to return up to £200m to Balfour Beatty shareholders through a share buyback programme. In addition, £85m of the sale proceeds will be used to reduce the group pension fund deficit. Balfour Beatty intends to retain the balance ‘to ensure a strong balance sheet and provide increased financial flexibility’.

‘This sale represents a significant return on Balfour Beatty’s investment and a compelling level of value creation for shareholders’, said Balfour Beatty Executive Chairman Steve Marshall. ‘Following the sale, Balfour Beatty will a simplified and more focused group’, he added, with ‘leading positions’ in the UK and US construction and infrastructure markets ‘all supported by a strong balance sheet’.