Housing move

Bellway confirms offers for Crest Nicholson

Bellway is poised to be a consolidator

Bellway today confirmed that it has made several offers to acquire embattled housebuilding rival Crest Nicholson which earlier issued the latest in a string of profit warnings.

The latest move came on 7 May and was rejected by the Crest Nicholson board. It is said to have been worth about 253p per share, valuing the business at £667 million. Following today’s alert shares in Crest Nicholson slumped by 28p to 212.75p.

There was talk of Crest Nicholson being the next likely candidate to be acquired following Barratt Development’s swoop on Redrow.

Bellway said later that it believed there was a “compelling strategic and financial rationale” for a combination of the two businesses.

Crest Nicholson was founded in the 1960s and is now one of Britain’s biggest housebuilders. Its recent problems have included repeated cost overruns at a troublesome regeneration project in Farnham, Surrey; a fire in a block of flats that it built; and the recent discovery of construction defects at four sites.

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