Balfour sells services arm for £190m

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A services giant which maintains the London Olympics park and helps run power stations is being sold to French energy company GDF Suez in a move affecting more than 9,000 staff.

Engineer Balfour Beatty is selling its facilities management arm to GDF Suez, which has an office in Leeds, for £190m to focus on major infrastructure projects. The business, known as Balfour Beatty WorkPlace, has big contracts in the UK with organisations and companies including the Department for Work and Pensions, Royal Mail, Sainsbury’s and the NHS.

It earned operating profits of £21m on revenues of £482m last year and has a 10-year contract to run services and facilities at the 250-acre Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London, home to last year’s Games.

It also won a five-year deal from EDF Energy earlier this year to help maintain West Burton B, a new gas power station in Nottinghamshire.

Balfour boss Andrew McNaughton said the sale was an “important step in our evolution as we intensify our focus on infrastructure”.

More than 9,000 staff across the UK will transfer to GDF Suez Energy Services and work under its Cofely brand.

It will merge with GDF’s energy services arm, which employs 2,200 people in the UK and provides similar services at 13,000 sites, working with organisations including Avon and Somerset Police and London’s Victoria & Albert Museum.

The enlarged business will generate revenues of around £800m. A spokeswoman for GDF said it does not plan to cut any jobs.