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New chairman prompts IPO whispers at Cala

Manjit Wolstenholme - contHome builder CALA Group, has appointed Manjit Wolstenholme as non-executive chairman replacing Anthony Fry, who is standing down after a period of illness. Her appointment is likely to prompt further speculation of a flotation of the company.

Mr Fry has led the board since November 2010. Mark Collins will step down as acting chairman but remains on the board.

Ms Wolstenholme (pictured) is chairman of Provident Financial and a non-executive director of Unite Group, Aviva Investors and Future. She was previously a partner at Gleacher Shacklock, the M&A boutique, and was co-head of investment banking at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein.

In its latest financial results for the year ended 30 June 2015, CALA Group reported another 12 months of record performance, with 79% growth in revenues to £511.6m and a 90% increase in profit before tax to £50.9m, driven by a 34% increase in home completions to 993 homes and CALA’s highest ever private average selling price of £509,000.

Commenting on Mrs Wolstenholme’s appointment, Alan Brown, chief executive, said: “I am delighted that Manjit has agreed to chair the Group during this next exciting phase of our growth strategy and we welcome her to the team.  Her extensive business and financial experience will be invaluable to the group as we work to achieve operational efficiency by 2018 and deliver revenue of c.£1bn within the next five years.

“I would like to thank Anthony for his significant contribution to the Group’s successes over the past five years, during which the business has returned to growth and profitability, was acquired by Patron Capital Partners and Legal & General in a landmark deal in 2013, and which today is proud to be a top 10 housebuilder in terms of gross development value. We wish Anthony every success for the future. I would also like to place on record my thanks to Mark for his role as acting Chairman.”

Ms Wolstenholme added: “I am very excited to be joining CALA and look forward to working with Alan and the management team to build on the Group’s strong performance to date.”

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