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LONDON, July 25 (Reuters) - Shares in two of Britain's biggest construction companies Balfour Beatty and Carillion rallied on Friday, after they confirmed they were in early talks on a possible 3 billion pound ($5.1 billion) merger.
Balfour Beatty and Carillion said in a statement late on Thursday that the merger had the potential to create a company with market leading services, investment and a construction business of considerable scale.
Shares in Balfour were up 10 percent at 255 pence by 0718 GMT, making it the top FTSE 250 riser. Carillion shares were also up 12 percent at 380 pence.
The companies have until 21 August to announce a firm intention to merge or state that a deal will not take place.
Reporting by Li-mei Hoang; editing by Kate Holton