Carillion said that it “continues to believe in the powerful strategic logic of a merger with Balfour Beatty”.

Balfour Beatty said it would consider the revised proposal and “make a further announcement in due course”.

The improved offer comes ahead of a “put up or shut up” deadline of 5pm on Thursday.A Balfour Beatty workman on a construction site

Balfour shareholders have now been offered 58.268% of the combined company, up from the previous 56.5% share.

Shares in Balfour rose 3.9% in afternoon trading to 257.6p, valuing the company at £1.77bn. Carillion was up slightly to 337.8p, valuing it at just under £1.5bn.

The revised offer represents a 36% premium to the average price of Balfour shares in the month before news of the merger deal leaked.

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