Vistry to buy Countryside

Vistry is to buy Countryside for a cash and share offer of £1.25 billion.

In a statement made to the stock exchange today (Monday 5th September), the firm said that combining the two firms “would create one of the country’s leading homebuilders, comprising a top tier housebuilder and a leading partnerships business, with capability across all housing tenures, and delivering much needed affordable housing.”

It said that advantages of the deal included strengthening the Vistry Group’s position across both housebuilding and partnerships to deliver “sector-leading returns” with a target of 40% ROCE in the short term and £3 billion per annum revenue in the medium term.

The firm also cited “significant benefits and value creation from the increased scale of the combined business and synergies of at least £50 million and potentially from the Countryside Group’s timber frame capability, with operational benefits including procurement processes, an improved implementation of the Future Homes Standard and the reduction of people risk within the current tight labour market.”

Commenting on the deal, Greg Fitzgerald, the chief executive officer of Vistry, who will lead the business, said: “This proposed Combination has a highly compelling strategic rationale. It will create a leader in the Partnerships housing sector, with the scale and expertise to accelerate profitable growth across both Partnerships and Housebuilding and expand the delivery of much needed affordable housing across England. The proposed Combination will add the strength of the Countryside brand to Vistry’s own well-established Bovis Homes and Linden Homes brands and will leverage the skills and market knowledge of both the Countryside and Vistry teams.”

Douglas Hurt, the chairman of Countryside, said: “The Combination will create a leading, enlarged partnerships business and is an opportunity to leverage both Countryside’s brand and place-making experience with the growing Vistry partnerships business, alongside Vistry’s established housebuilding business.”