Balfour Beatty plc (/ /) is a British multinational infrastructure group based in the United Kingdom with capabilities in construction services, support services and infrastructure investments. A constituent of the FTSE 250 Index, Balfour Beatty works across the United Kingdom, Ireland, the United States, Canada and South East Asia.
|Type||Public limited company|
|Industry||Infrastructure: professional services, construction services, support services, infrastructure investments|
|Philip Aiken, Chairman|
Leo Quinn (CEO)
|Revenue||£8,587 million (2020)|
|£13 million (2020)|
|£30 million (2020)|
Number of employees
By turnover and profit, Balfour Beatty was ranked in September 2018 as the biggest construction contractor in the United Kingdom.
Balfour Beatty was formed in 1909, with a capital of £50,000. The two principals were George Balfour, a qualified mechanical and electrical engineer, and Andrew Beatty, an accountant. The two had met while working for the London branch of the New York engineers JG White & Company. Initially, the company concentrated on tramways, the first contract being to construct the Dunfermline and District Tramways that opened in November 1909 for Balfour Beatty's own subsidiary, the Fife Tramway Light and Power Company.
It subsequently acquired a portfolio of electric power and tramway companies including in Carlisle, Cheltenham, Leamington & Warwick, Llanelly, Luton, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire & Derby, Falkirk and Wemyss. Some later operated trolley and motor buses. Several bus companies were purchased or formed including Midland General, Percivals (Carlisle), Stratford Blue and Scottish General Omnibus.
The Scottish bus subsidiaries were sold in June 1930 to W Alexander & Sons, and the Scottish tramways in 1935 to Scottish Motor Traction, Cheltenham was sold in July 1939 to Red & White Services with the remaining operations transferred to the Tilling Group.
George Balfour was elected to the House of Commons in 1918 and played a large part in the debates which established the National Grid. To service this new market, George Balfour, Andrew Beatty and others formed Power Securities to finance projects, and the two companies, with their common directors, worked closely together. Balfour Beatty was heavily involved in the development of Scotland's hydro electric power, building dams, transmission lines and power stations.
Other work between the wars included the standardisation of the electricity supply in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, and the construction of tunnels and escalators for the London Underground. Extensive overseas work started in 1924 when Balfour Beatty took over the management of the East African Power & Lighting company; construction work included hydro electric schemes in the Dolomites, Malaya and India, power stations in Argentina and Uruguay, and the Kut Barrage on the Tigris in Iraq.
By the onset of the Second World War, control of the firm had changed: Andrew Beatty had died in 1934 and George Balfour died in 1941. Construction work was now dominated by the war effort, and notable projects included blocking the approaches to Scapa Flow and the building of six Mulberry harbour units.
Post World War IIEdit
Peacetime saw a resumption of Balfour Beatty's traditional work, with power stations and railway work dominating at home. Overseas, a construction company was bought in Canada in 1953, and other work included the Mto Mtwara harbour in Tanganyika (now Tanzania) and the Wadi Tharthar irrigation scheme in Iraq.
In 1969, Power Securities, which by then owned Balfour Beatty, was taken over by cable manufacturer BICC. Balfour Beatty moved away from its traditional area of expertise in 1986, when it formed Balfour Beatty Homes, building on a modest scale from its office in Nottingham. It also opened offices in Paisley and Leatherhead, and in 1987, it bought the Derbyshire firm of David M Adams to give it an annualised production rate of up to 700 houses.
Little more than a year before the housing market collapsed, through its parent BICC, Clarke Homes was bought. By the middle of the 1990s, sales were down to only five hundred a year, and although no financial figures were ever published, the housing operation was believed to have suffered heavy losses. Balfour Beatty Homes was renamed Clarke Homes and then sold to Westbury in 1995.
In May 2000, BICC, having sold its cable operations, renamed itself Balfour Beatty. It then commenced a series of acquisitions, primarily in the United Kingdom and North America; in 2004, it also acquired Skanska's 50% stake in Hong Kong's Gammon Construction. In 2011, Balfour Beatty sold its trackwork manufacturing business to Progress Rail.
Acquisitions in the United KingdomEdit
Balfour Beatty's acquisitions in the United Kingdom included: construction services business Mansell plc, for £42m in November 2003, construction and civils contractor Birse plc, for £32m in August 2006, Bristol construction company Cowlin Construction, also in October 2007, and regional contractor Dean & Dyball for £45 million in February 2008.
North American acquisitionsEdit
In February 2007, Balfour Beatty acquired Texas based Centex Construction for £180m. In February 2008, the company bought GMH Military Housing, a United States-based military accommodation business, for £180m.
In September 2009, the company agreed to buy Parsons Brinckerhoff, a project management firm based in the United States, for $626 million. Balfour Beatty sold Parsons Brinckerhoff to WSP Global for $1.24bn in October 2014. In October 2010, the company bought Halsall Group, a Canadian professional services firm, for £33 million.
In June 2011, it bought Howard S. Wright, one of the oldest contractors on the West Coast of the United States, for £58 million as well as Fru-Con Construction, a water and wastewater contractor based in the United States, for £12 million and in January 2013, it bought Subsurface Group, a consulting and engineering firm based in the United States.
In August 2014, the company rebuffed three offers by its rival in the United Kingdom, Carillion, for the two companies to merge. The last bid, which valued Balfour Beatty at £2.1 billion, was unanimously rejected by the Balfour Beatty board on 20 August 2014, one day before a deadline for negotiations to conclude. Balfour refused to allow an extension of time for negotiations which could have prompted a fourth bid. Carillion subsequently announced it would no longer pursue a merger with its rival.
Hatfield rail crashEdit
In October 2005, Balfour Beatty was found guilty of breaching health and safety laws, and were fined £10 million for its involvement in the October 2000 Hatfield rail crash. The crash resulted in the death of four people, and injured more than 70.
In March 2009, the company was found to be a subscriber to the Consulting Association, a firm which was then prosecuted by the UK Information Commissioner's Office for breaching the Data Protection Act by holding a secret database of construction workers details, including union membership and political affiliations, and six enforcement notices were issued against Balfour Beatty companies.
On 10 October 2013, Balfour Beatty was one of eight construction firms involved in blacklisting that apologised for their actions, and agreed to pay compensation to affected workers. The eight businesses established the Construction Workers Compensation Scheme in July 2014, though the scheme was condemned as a "PR stunt" by the GMB union, and as "an act of bad faith" by Parliament's Scottish Affairs Select Committee.
A High Court case regarding the blacklisting was scheduled for May 2016. In October 2015, during preliminary stages of the case, the eight firms did not accept the loss of earnings that the blacklisting victims had suffered, but, in January 2016, they increased their compensation offers.
On 22 January 2016, the High Court ordered 30 construction firms to disclose all emails and correspondence relating to blacklisting by 12 February 2016, after it emerged that Balfour Beatty managers had referred to blacklisted workers as ‘sheep’. However, some settlements were eventually agreed, and on 11 May 2016, a 'formal apology' from the 40 firms involved was read out in court and the case (Various Claimants v McAlpine & Ors) was closed.
Balfour Beatty designs, builds and maintains infrastructure across a number of sectors. Its capabilities include:
- Construction services: Design, construction management, refurbishment and fit out, mechanical and electrical services, civil engineering, ground engineering and rail engineering.
- Support services: Installation, upgrade and maintenance of water, gas and electricity networks; rail renewals; street and public space management, operation and maintenance.
- Infrastructure investments: A portfolio of long term (public–private partnership, 'PPP') concessions in the United Kingdom, primarily in the education, health and roads/street lighting sectors, plus a portfolio of long term military accommodation PPP concessions in the United States. Balfour Beatty also has interests in non PPP assets in the United Kingdom.
Projects involving Balfour Beatty include:
- The Kut Barrage, Iraq, completed in 1939
- The Churchill Barriers, Orkney, completed in 1940-44
- The Kielder Dam, Northumberland, completed in 1982
- The Docklands Light Railway in London, completed in 1985
- Large parts of the M25 motorway around London, completed in 1986
- Sheffield Supertram, completed in 1994
- The Channel Tunnel, completed in 1994
- The Cardiff Bay Barrage, completed in 1999
- The University Hospital of North Durham, completed in 2001
- The Lesotho Highlands Water Project, completed in 2002
- Nam Cheong station, Hong Kong, completed in 2003
- The Pergau Dam hydroelectric project in Malaysia, completed in 2003
- The M6 Toll, completed in 2003
- New facilities for the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, completed in 2003
- University College London Hospital, completed in 2005
- Igor I. Sikorsky Memorial Bridge, Connecticut, USA, completed in 2006
- Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital, completed in 2006
- Dubai Mall, completed in 2008
- The United States Capitol Visitor Center, completed in 2008
- The King's Cross St Pancras tube station Northern Ticket Hall, completed in 2009
- Tameside General Hospital, completed in 2009
- Redevelopment of Stobhill Hospital in Glasgow, completed in 2009
- Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham near Selly Oak, Birmingham, completed in 2010
- Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield, completed in 2010
- Pontefract Hospital, completed in 2010
- The East London line, completed in 2010
- The A3 Hindhead Tunnel, completed in 2011
- The London Aquatics Centre, completed in 2011
- The M25 motorway widening J16 to 23 and J27 to 30, completed in 2012
- Extension to the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy, completed in 2012
- The Blackfriars station and Bridge Construction Works, completed in 2012
- The rebuilding of Salford Royal Hospital, completed in 2012
- The new main facility for Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, Texas, completed in 2014
- The M4/M5 Managed Motorways project in Bristol, completed in 2014
- Providence Tower, London, completed in 2015
- British Columbia Women's and Children's Hospital Acute Care Centre, Vancouver, Canada, completed in 2017
- Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route, completed in 2019
- Crossrail Liverpool Street station and Whitechapel station tunnels project, due to complete in 2020
- Green Line Extension, in Cambridge, Somerville, and Medford, Massachusetts, due to complete in 2021
- The Viking Power Link between Denmark and the UK, due to complete in 2023
- Old Oak Common Station due to complete in 2030
- HS2 lots N1 and N2, working as part of joint venture, due to complete in 2031
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- Hartcup, Guy (2011). Code Name Mulberry: The Planning Building and Operation of the Normandy Harbours. Pen & Sword Military. p. 94. ISBN 978-1848845589.
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- "BICC joins the flight from house-building". The Independent. 16 August 1995. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
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- "Balfour buys Gammon stake". Construction News. 3 June 2004. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
- Progress Rail Services buys Balfour Beatty track component business Railway Gazette International 15 April 2011
- Progress Rail buys Balfour Beatty's trackwork sector International Railway Journal May 2011 page 18
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- Richardson, Sarah (9 August 2006). "Balfour Beatty issues notice to Birse shareholders". Building.co.uk. Retrieved 17 April 2011.
- "About us". Cowlin Construction. Archived from the original on 5 November 2010. Retrieved 19 November 2010.
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- "Balfour buys Rok businesses for 7 mln stg". Reuters. 19 November 2010.
- "Balfour buys US builder for £180m". Contract Journal. 437 (6611): 11. February 2007.
- Brodie, Sophie (13 February 2008). "Balfour Beatty targets $350m US military deal". The Daily Telegraph. UK. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
- Hoskins, Paul; Neligan, Myles (17 September 2009). "Britain's Balfour Beatty unveils $626 mln U.S. buy". Reuters.
- "Balfour Beatty completes $1.24bn sale of Parsons Brinckerhoff to WSP Global". City AM. 31 October 2014. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
- "Balfour buys Halsall Group for £33m". Building. 13 October 2010. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
- "Balfour Beatty buys US contractor". Construction Index. June 2011. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
- "Balfour Beatty buys US contractor". Construction Index. June 2011. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
- "Balfour Beatty buys US energy storage business Subsurface Group". Builder & Engineer. 3 January 2013. Archived from the original on 11 March 2016. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
- "Balfour Beatty rejects latest Carillion merger offer". The Guardian. 20 August 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2014.
- "Carillion abandons pursuit of Balfour Beatty". FT. 20 August 2014. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
- "Labour peer to chair Balfour Beatty". The Construction Index. 13 May 2021. Retrieved 13 May 2021.
- "Hatfield crash firms fined a record £13.5m". The Telegraph. 6 October 2005.
- Rob Evans (4 August 2009). "Balfour Beatty among firms that bought information on workers". Guardian. UK. Retrieved 17 April 2011.
- "Firm sold workers secret data". BBC News. 6 March 2009. Retrieved 17 April 2011.
- "Construction blacklist". ICO. ICO. Archived from the original on 16 April 2015. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
- Rob Evans (20 January 2010). "Trade Unionist sues Balfour Beatty". Guardian. UK. Retrieved 17 April 2011.
- Hoyle, Rhiannon (8 March 2010). "Balfour Beatty wins first case in blacklisting scandal". Construction News. Retrieved 17 April 2011.
- "Construction blacklist compensation scheme opens". BBC News: Business. BBC. 4 July 2014. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
- "Scottish Affairs - Seventh Report Blacklisting in Employment: Final Report". www.parliament.uk. Scottish Affairs Committee. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
- "Case Management Conference in the High Court". Guney, Clark & Ryan. GCR. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
- "Blacklisting companies admit liability". The Construction Index. 9 October 2015. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
- Prior, Grant (18 January 2016). "Contractors increase payouts to blacklist victims". Construction Enquirer. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
- Morby, Aaron (25 January 2016). "High Court orders contractors to release blacklist data". Construction Enquirer. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
- "High Court orders construction firms to release blacklisting information". Unite. 22 January 2016. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
- Evans, Rob (11 May 2016). "Construction firms apologise in court over blacklist". The Guardian.
- Prior, Grant (4 December 2017). "Unite launches new round of blacklisting legal action". Construction Enquirer. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
- Morby, Aaron (29 April 2019). "Industry giants shamed over late payment". Construction Enquirer. Retrieved 29 April 2019.
- Prior, Grant (12 February 2020). "F M Conway suspended from Prompt Payment Code". Construction Enquirer. Retrieved 13 February 2020.
- "What we do". Balfour Beatty. Retrieved 16 April 2017.
- "UK Contractors Group website". Ukcg.org.uk. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 17 April 2011.
- "Churchill Barriers". Undiscovered Scotland. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
- "Structure information". Sine.ncl.ac.uk. 26 March 2004. Archived from the original on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 17 April 2011.
- Docklands Light Railway Official Handbook, Stephen Jolly and Bob Bayman (1986) ISBN 0-904711-80-3
- "Motorway Archive – M25". Iht.org. Archived from the original on 10 May 2009. Retrieved 17 April 2011.
- "Infrastructure maintenance becomes big business". Railway Gazette. 1 February 1997. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
- "Channel Tunnel on Structurae database" (in German). En.structurae.de. Retrieved 17 April 2011.
- Cardiff Bay Barrage Report
- "Balfour Beatty turns a huge profit on building schools and hospitals". The Independent. 3 June 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
- Hildyard, Nicholas (10 July 2002). "Corner House". Corner House. Archived from the original on 17 May 2008. Retrieved 17 April 2011.
- "Government of Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department". Epd.gov.hk. 31 December 2001. Retrieved 17 April 2011.
- "Turkish Dam gets UK Support". BBC News. 1 March 1999. Retrieved 17 April 2011.
- "Motorway Archive – M6 Toll". Iht.org. Archived from the original on 23 June 2009. Retrieved 17 April 2011.
- "PFI hospital opens its doors". BBC. 28 January 2002. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
- "University College London Hospital wins award". Archived from the original on 24 January 2007.
- "New bridge wins praise". Zwire.com. Retrieved 17 April 2011.[permanent dead link]
- "Balfour Beatty sells its stake in Royal Blackburn Hospital". Lancashire Telegraph. 14 November 2011. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
- "Balfour Beatty website: Burj Mall Dubai". Balfourbeatty.com. 10 May 2010. Archived from the original on 16 April 2008. Retrieved 17 April 2011.
- "The Architect of the Capitol". Aoc.gov. 2 December 2008. Archived from the original on 1 November 2008. Retrieved 17 April 2011.
- Balfour Beatty to build King's Cross ticket hall Building, 25 May 2006
- "Tameside General Hospital". HICL. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
- "New Stobhill Hospital Ambulatory Care and Diagnostic Centre". Architects Journal. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
- "Long winding road to new super-hospital". Birmingham Post. 30 January 2006. Archived from the original on 21 May 2011. Retrieved 17 April 2011.
- "Balfour lands health job". Construction News. 9 December 2004. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
- Balfour Beatty and Carillion win £363m East London line contract Guardian, 26 October 2006
- "Mott McDonald". Tunnels.mottmac.com. Archived from the original on 14 July 2011. Retrieved 17 April 2011.
- UK firms sign venue contracts Archived 6 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine London Olympics, 8 April 2008
- Balfour Beatty/Skanska wins £5bn M25 deal Construction News, 8 May 2008
- "BDP complete £170m Victoria Hospital extension". Urban Realm. 24 August 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
- Blackfriars station: Pulling out the stops Building, 28 January 2011
- "Balfour Beatty sells Salford PFI stake for £22m". Insider Media. 1 July 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
- Auditor questions millions of dollars in new Parkland hospital construction contract Business Video, 26 April 2011
- Balfour Beatty wins M4/M5 managed motorway contract for £77.6M NCE, 26 October 2012
- "Balfour Beatty lands first major London tower job". Construction Enquirer. 10 June 2013. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
- "Balfour Beatty, Ledcor Joint Venture Completes BC Women's and BC Children's Teck Acute Care Center". Balfour Beatty US. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
- "Aberdeen bypass: Preferred bidder named as Connect Roads". BBC News.
- "Final section of Aberdeen bypass opens". BBC News. BBC. 19 February 2019. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
- Balfour Beatty wins Liverpool St station Crossrail contract The Engineer, 13 January 2011
- "GLX Constructors". GLX Constructors - Our Team. 2019. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
- "Green Line Extension Project (GLX)". Mass.gov. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
- "Green Line Extension (GLX) | Projects | MBTA". www.mbta.com. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
- "100 HDD Viking Link begins". Great Southern Press (Trenchless Australasia, Australasian Society for Trenchless Technology).
- "Old Oak Common: No Ordinary Station". RAIL. No. 909. 15 July 2020. p. 48-9.
- "HS2 contracts worth £6.6bn awarded by UK government". The Guardian. 17 July 2017. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
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