Heijmans N.V. expects to reach agreement on the acquisition of Leadbitter in England. The acquisition will be paid in cash. The positive effect of the transaction on the profit per Heijmans N.V. share in 2003 shall amount to Eur 0.11.
With three regional offices (Oxford, Bristol and Bracknell) and over 300 staff, Leadbitter operates principally in the South of England. The company is primarily active in public sectors such as the construction of social housing, schools, healthcare and leisure. Approximately 90% of turnover originates from the public sector. Leadbitter has an excellent reputation for quality, a good track record with clients and close ties with housing associations. More than 80% of turnover is realised through large-scale projects. The company is not active in property development on its own account, but assists clients in the procurement of project finance.
Leadbitter expects to realise turnover of approximately EUR 160 million for the year 2003. Profitability is close to the Heijmansâ€™ profit margins. The company expects turnover to increase significantly in the years up to 2006. One of the reasons for Leadbitter to affiliate itself with a strong partner is to facilitate that growth through, amongst other things, expanding its activities and the number of regional offices in the UK. Leadbitter will continue to operate independently in the UK, within Heijmans, under its own name and current management. The current management will remain with the company for at least three more years. A part of the purchase price will be used by current management to acquire depository receipts for shares in Heijmans N.V. with a lock up period for three years.
The planned acquisition is part of Heijmans NVâ€™s strategy to expand its activities in neighbouring countries, with a view to risk distribution, exchanging know-how and economies of scale. In addition to Germany and Belgium, the United Kingdom is a major market. Leadbitter shall form a bridgehead for Heijmans in the United Kingdom.