Balfour offloads telecoms division to Obelisk


Irish engineering services business Obelisk has acquired Balfour Beatty’s telecoms division. 

Credit: Balfour Beatty.

Obelisk will keep the existing Balfour Beatty employees and set up a new UK headquarters in Southampton. 

The deal follows Obelisk’s acquisition by European telecommunications and energy giant Constructel Visabeira last year, which employs around 6,500 people across 11 countries and saw turnover over of €851 million in 2021. 

Visabeira was incorporated in Viseu Portugal in 1980. Constructel is the telecommunications branch of Portugal-based international conglomerate Grupo Visabeira and is headquartered in France. 

In 2018, Grupo Visabeira/Constructel acquired Liverpool utilities firm MJ Quinn. 

Obelisk and Balfour  

The new team will be led by Balfour Beatty operations manager, Phil Fensom, and forms part of Obelisk’s UK expansion plans in telecoms infrastructure. 

“I along with my fellow team members look forward to working with the Obelisk team, to continue to deliver successfully, and assume new challenges as the business goes from strength to strength,” said Fensom. 

Obelisk CEO, Ronnie Delaney, added: “Obelisk will continue to accelerate new growth opportunities in these sectors, going beyond connection to invest in and expand our skilled workforce across the UK and Ireland, and offer more complete solutions for our clients in new and existing markets.” 

Balfour also recently added another firm to its Strategic Design Partnership. 

US engineering consultant Jacobs joins Atkins and Mott MacDonald as Balfour’s latest pre-appointed design partner.  

With around USD$15 billion in annual revenue and some 60,000 employees, Jacobs provides a range of professional services to both public and private sectors, including consulting, technical, scientific, and project delivery.   

Balfour formed its Strategic Design Partnership in 2017 to “reframe the designer-contractor relationship”, particularly for complex construction and infrastructure projects in areas such as Health & Safety (H&S), Sustainability, Social Value, and Modern Methods of Construction (MMC). 

In a trading update for the first quarter of 2023, Balfour reported a drop in the value of the Group’s order book to £17 billion at the end of March, down from £17.4 billion in December 2022.  

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