In a statement to the London Stock Exchange, the Board of Carillion plc has expressed "surprise" at this morning's decision by Balfour Beatty plc to termination discussions relating to a possible merger of the two construction giants.
Despite press speculation that the prospects of any deal had been dealt a fatal blow by Balfour Beatty's refusal to reconsider the planned sale of US engineering and design business, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Carillion appears to have left the door open for future talks.
In today's statement, its Board re-affirmed the company's belief that there is a "powerful strategic rationale" for combining the two companies. More tellingly, it also confirmed it is to "give further consideration to its position" on the proposed merger - a stance that is entirely consistent with the announcement by the two companies at the time discussions were first announced, that the proposed Parsons Brinckerhoff disposal would have no impact.
A further statement from Carillion is expected shortly.