HOUSEBUILDER Taylor Wimpey has sold its North American business to a group of private equity firms for $955m (£595m), in a long-awaited deal that will help it cut debt and focus on its UK business.
“The sale is a significant step towards our goal of becoming a UK-focused homebuilder,” chief executive Pete Redfern said yesterday.
Taylor Wimpey enjoyed a good start to the spring house-selling season, Redfern said, and could use some of the sale proceeds to add to its portfolio of land.
“Our prices are a little bit higher than they were three months ago,” he said.
Proceeds from the North American sale will mainly be used to reduce Taylor Wimpey’s borrowings, said Redfern, adding that some £30m would be allocated to cutting its pension deficit with some capital left for land purchases.
Britain’s third-largest homebuilder by value said the sale price of its North American unit represented a premium of 3.4 per cent to net asset value, and was at the top end of the range it had targeted.
The well-flagged and competitive sale process saw the company dispose of Taylor Woodrow Holdings US and Taylor Wimpey Holdings of Canada.
The buyer, TMM Holdings, is a partnership controlled by investment funds affiliated with TPG Capital, Oaktree Capital Management and JH Investments and its subsidiaries.
MEET THE ADVISERS
JP MORGAN CAZENOVE
GUY Marks advised Taylor Wimpey as part of a JP Morgan Cazenove team, which acted as sponsor, financial adviser and corporate broker.?He is also advising Carillion on its £300m acquisition of Eaga, the supplier of heating and renewable energy. He was joined on the JP Morgan Cazenove team by Mark Breuer and Andrew Truscott. Breuer is a vice chairman who previously served as head of the investment bank’s mergers and acquisitions team. He was one of five JP Morgan executives to make the board in 2008, after moving to the firm as part of Cazenove in 2004. He advised on L’Oreal’s acquisition of The Body Shop. He also acted for George Wimpey on its merger with Taylor Woodrow. Truscott also advised Babcock on its bid for engineering firm VT.
Meanwhile, Antonia Rowan from RBS Hoare Govett is also acting as corporate broker. Rowan is a managing director of RBS Hoare Govett and has been with the firm since 1999 when she joined from Merrill Lynch.
City A.M. Reporter