Balfour Beatty expands its US business

INFRASTRUCTURE firm Balfour Beatty has beefed up its American business by acquiring a US energy storage firm in a deal thought to be worth around $18m (£11m).

Balfour Beatty subsidiary Parsons Brinckerhoff has bought Texas-based Subsurface, a consulting and engineering firm providing services in energy storage.

Subsurface is forecast to generate around $50m in revenue over 2012, Balfour Beatty said in a statement yesterday.

“Subsurface Group’s recognised expertise in underground injection and speciality wells and Parsons Brinckerhoff’s skills and services in underground storage create synergies for us and for the oil and gas, energy and industrial clients both companies serve,” Ian Tyler, Balfour Beatty chief executive, said yesterday.

Andy Brown at Panmure Gordon yesterday hailed the “small addition to its professional service capacity in the US”, calling it a “good move” for Balfour Beatty.

“It will not impact forecasts at this stage but is a good reminder of the strategic push to diversify future earnings away from the more cyclical construction activities,” analyst Brown said in a note.

In November, the infrastructure firm said it would review its business following a profit warning that caused its share price to fall by 18 per cent.

Investors reacted well to news of the acquisition yesterday, and Balfour Beatty’s shares rose, closing 0.53 per cent up at 282p.