ON FEBRUARY 26 Balfour Beatty announced the acquisition of the Rail Systems Division of US industrial group ABC-NACO for a total of US$21·5m. The railway signalling, control and communication services business will be renamed Balfour Beatty Rail Systems Inc.

Operating across the USA, but focusing on the northeast, southeast and California, the business has net assets of approximately $10·5m, and last year it recorded sales of $32m and operating profits of $2m. Current project work includes a $51m turnkey signalling contract with Philadelphia public transport agency Septa.

Balfour Beatty Chief Executive Mike Welton called the deal ’a key step on the way to establishing a strong, multi-disciplinary presence in the US rail market.’ He felt that Balfour Beatty was ’well-placed to serve the market for large complex rail projects which is fast developing in the US transit sector.’