April 17, 2018 / 7:12 AM / 9 months ago

Morgan Sindall's investment unit signs property JV with Hertfordshire council

(Reuters) - Britain’s Morgan Sindall (MGNS.L) said on Tuesday its investment division entered into a joint venture with Hertfordshire County Council to build new homes in the county.

The 50:50 partnership - which is for 15 years, with an option to extend to a further five - aims to develop 40 sites across Hertfordshire worth up to 2 billion pounds.

The partnership, to be known as Chalkdene Developments, will initially be focused on 12 locations and have the capacity to deliver more than over 500 properties, the building and infrastructure company said.

“The development partnership also has the potential to deliver schemes under the government’s One Public Estate initiative and on behalf of other public sector authorities in addition to Hertfordshire County Council,” the company said.

Morgan Sindall, which has in recent years been more selective about contracts it bids for, said securing the joint venture would possibly allow its investments division to become a “meaningful contributor” to the company’s profits.

Sector peers Interserve (IRV.L), Mitie (MTO.L) and Capita (CPI.L) have all issued profit warnings in the past few months, and Carillion (CLLN.L) collapsed in January under a huge pile of debt.

The company said in February its office installation and refurbishment business ‘Fit Out’ lifted its 2017 annual pretax profit by about a half and the company expected the performance to continue this year.

Reporting by Justin George Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair

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