Balfour pulls plug on Carillion merger talks

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Infrastructure group Balfour Beatty has called off merger talks with rival Carillion amid a row over the planned sale of a subsidiary.

The firm said Carillion had made a “wholly unexpected” decision to only press ahead with a tie-up if Balfour’s Parsons Brinckerhoff consulting arm remained part of the enlarged entity.

In a strongly-worded statement, Balfour said Carillion’s stance went against a joint announcement last week, in which the two companies said they had agreed that the sale process for Parsons Brinckerhoff, “will proceed unaffected” by the merger discussions.

“This change in the proposed terms is not acceptable to the board of Balfour Beatty,” the group said today.