Balfour Beatty sells a further 5% stake of M25 business

Balfour Beatty is to bank £42m with the sale of a further 5% stake in Connect Plus, the company which operates and maintains the M25 motorway.

The infrastructure giant has announced the sale on the back of deals unveiled in December when the company said it had sold 12.5% and 7.5% of its stake for £103m and £62m respectively. The company has now sold a total of 25% of its original 40% holding with deals amounting to an overall figure of £207m. 

The latest sale is to Equitix Investment Management, which also exercised its option to purchase the 7.5% that it agreed in January taking its total holding to 12.5%. Balfour Beatty’s profit from the latest transaction is expected to come in at £22m and the proceeds will be used to pay down the firm's debt.

Commenting on the sale, Leo Quinn, group chief executive, said: “This transaction emphasises the ongoing attractiveness of our infrastructure assets and is in line with our declared intent to maximise value for shareholders.”

Balfour Beatty said that as a result of the stake sales, its expectations for both group profit before tax and year end net cash in 2017 are above previous guidance. The firm continues to own a 15% stake in Connect Plus.

Last August the company saw pre-tax profit reach £12m, which compared to a £15m loss in the same period a year earlier.

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