BALFOUR BEATTY of Great Britain announced on September 20 that it was to acquire the Adtranz Fixed Installations business for 153m euros (RG 10.00 p636). Supplying electrification and traction power supply systems, this business unit has 1400 employees. Profit before interest and tax was 16·2m euros last year on sales of 290m euros.

The transaction was expected to be completed by the end of October. Balfour Beatty Chief Executive Mike Welton said that combining ’our very substantial existing rail capabilities’ with Adtranz Fixed Installations ’creates a world-scale rail engineering and electrification business’. By tapping Adtranz expertise in aluminium catenary, high speed and third rail systems, Balfour Beatty hopes to improve its position in all current markets. It will also be acquiring ’an immediate and major presence’ in the ’very substantial’ German market.

As at December 31 1999 Adtranz Fixed Installations had an order book worth 467m euros. Electrification contracts in hand include Harbin - Dalian in China worth 100m euros, Nürnberg - Ingolstadt (90m euros) and the Madrid - Lleida high speed line (40m euros).