BLP advises Balfour Beatty on disposal of UK trackwork manufacturing business

Law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has advised long-standing client Balfour Beatty on the disposal of its UK  rail manufacturing business to Progress Rail Services UK Limited, a subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc. The deal is due to complete in early May 2011.

Balfour Beatty’s UK trackwork business manufactures switches, crossings and other related railway products and this disposal will enable Balfour Beatty Rail to focus on its core business as a global, fixed-rail infrastructure contractor.

This is the third M&A deal on which BLP has advised Balfour Beatty in as many weeks. The news follows on from BLP’s work on Balfour Beatty’s recent £1.8bn extension to its joint venture arrangement with Royal Mail and related acquisition of Romec Services Limited, and the firm’s involvement in the acquisition of energy business Power Efficiency by Balfour Beatty WorkPlace.

BLP advised on all aspects of this latest transaction including corporate finance, commercial, real estate and environmental  matters.  The cross-practice team was led by corporate finance partner Rob Salter, assisted by corporate finance associates James Downey, Hari Guliani and Ruth Whorton, commercial law senior associate Usman Wahid and real estate law senior associate John Carver. Environmental law advice was provided by partner Andrew Waite and senior associate Isabelle Laborde.

Commenting on the deal, corporate finance partner Rob Salter said: “We are delighted to have advised Balfour Beatty on three M&A transactions in the space of three weeks. This healthy flow of deal activity reflects Balfour Beatty’s commitment to focusing on its core businesses and identifying new opportunities for growth.”

Peter Hutchinson, Finance Director at Balfour Beatty Rail said “BLP stepped up to the plate on this deal to help bring it to a successful conclusion. It required a team effort across a wide range of specialist disciplines, well co-ordinated by the corporate team.”Mayer Brown advised Progress Rail.

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