Laing gives 887 million takeover greenlight


Infrastructure developer John Laing has approved a £887 acquisition bid from private equity group Henderson.

The firm, which operates 48 private finance initiatives (PPIs) in the UK including hospitals and schools as well as road schemes and Chiltern Railways, says it finds Henderson's offer "fair and reasonable".

Under the terms of the deal, ordinary shareholders are set to receive 355p, with the equity group gaining 23.7 per cent of Laing's existing issued ordinary share capital.

Laing's board has said that it is unanimously recommending that shareholders accept the offer.

William Forrester, chairman of the firm, today said: "We believe that the proposals provide shareholders with an attractive cash price which fairly reflects the quality of Laing's portfolio and established position in the infrastructure and PFI and public-private project markets."

The chairman added that the combination of Laing's existing operations with Henderson's resources would allow the company to continue its British-based projects as well as expanding into overseas markets.

Commenting on the deal, Paul Woodbury, partner at Henderson, reinforced Mr Forrester's remarks, saying that the deal would "place Laing in a stronger position to fund the significant capital investment required to realise its growth potential".

If the offer does go through it is expected to be completed in the new year.

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