Ferrovial
Ferrovial agrees to buy UK's Enterprise. Photo: Ferrovial

Spanish infrastructure company Ferrovial agreed to acquire British utility services company Enterprise from investment group 3i as it looks to expand its presence in the UK after entering into Poland and Qatar.

Ferrovial's services unit entered into an agreement with 3i to buy Enterprise for £385m (€444m, $586m) doubling the size of its business in the UK. The deal would accelerate the company's entrance into the energy and water services sector.

"This acquisition fits with our strategic objective of profitable growth through selective acquisitions and it enables us to expand our Services business," Íñigo Meirás, CEO of Ferrovial, said in a statement.

"The deal will strengthen the operations currently conducted via Amey."

Enterprise had reported revenues of £1.1bn in 2012, excluding a joint venture with Mouchel, which is not part of the current deal. It employs 9,600 people and provides environmental, property and utilities services as well as road maintenance services for public and regulated sector.

Following the acquisition, Enterprise will be integrated to Ferrovial's UK business Amey, creating a company employing 21,000 people with a turnover of £2.3bn. The merger is expected to result in cost and revenue synergies of about £40m.

"In terms of client types, range of services and geographical footprint, the two companies are highly complementary and offer great potential to share resources." said Santiago Olivares, CEO of Ferrovial Services.

"The newly combined company will have the capability to offer our clients added value integrated services in an efficient way."

Having entered into the UK market in 2000, Ferrovial has become a major player in the sector, offering services to transport and social infrastructure. The company also controls the UK's Amey and Heathrow Airport Holdings.

The acquisition, subject to the approval by the European Commission, is expected to be completed by April. Mel Ewell, current CEO of Amey, will be appointed as CEO of the newly combined company following the acquisition.

 "This acquisition will be pivotal for the UK marketplace, creating a business with the breadth and depth of service to respond to today's market dynamics," Ewell said.