The top 15 contractors will soon have a new competitor in their midst. Publicly traded Perini Corp, Framingham, Mass., announced Aug. 11 that it has signed a letter of intent to buy privately-held contractor Rudolph & Sletten, Redwood City, Calif., for at least $50 million in cash plus more depending based on R&S operating results.

Perini, 24th on ENR�s List of the Top 400 Contractors, likely will now vie for a slot among the top 10 firms with the purchase of� No. 52-ranked Rudolph and Sletten. The California firm reports $695 million in 2004 revenue and new contracts totaling nearly $1.5 billion. Perini entered 2005 with $1.3 billion in new contracts and $1.84 billion in revenue the year before.

Rudolph & Sletten's West Coast location intrigues Perini. The firm "has a significant market share in the region,� says Robert Band, president and COO of Perini. He expects the added 1,000 California -based workers and associated facilities to help Perini�s current projects, primarily Native American gaming projects in the state. Perini is itself, a subsidiary of contractor Tutor-Saliba Corp., Sylmar,� Calif. Rudolph & Sletten also will be a major boon for Perini in the health care sector, Band says, in which Rudolph & Sletten is a Top 10 player.

Perini also will gain market share in the general contracting. Rudolph & Sletten had $550 million in sector revenues, good enough to place it 31st nationally. Perini will own 100% of the stock in Rudolph and Sletten once the transaction clears the due diligence process. The purchase will be financed through a combination of cash in hand and expanded borrowing capacity.