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Bellway bids knocked back twice by Crest Nicholson

14 Jun House-builder Bellway has admitted that it made a second takeover bid for rival Crest Nicholson last month.

The board of Bellway has confirmed that, on 7th May 2024, it presented a £650m takeover offer to the board of Crest Nicholson but was rejected.

The offer valued Crest Nicholson at a 30% premium to its share price at the time.

Bellway’s board said that it believes that “there is compelling strategic and financial rationale for a combination of Bellway and Crest Nicholson”, bringing together the strength of each business with complementary brands, delivering significant operational synergies.

Crest Nicholson said that this was Bellway’s second unsolicited approach It had previously lodged a bid on 25th April this year.

Crest Nicholson said: “Based on the Bellway share price of 2,718 pence as at close of business on 13th June 2024, the revised proposal represents an implied value of 253 pence per Crest Nicholson share, which represents a premium of approximately 18.8% to the Crest Nicholson share price of 213 pence as at close of business on 13th June 2024 and a premium of approximately 10.5% based on the one-month volume weighted average share price of 229 pence per Crest Nicholson share.

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“The board of Crest Nicholson evaluated the revised proposal with its financial advisers and concluded that it significantly undervalued Crest Nicholson and its future standalone prospects and was not in the best interests of Crest Nicholson's shareholders. The board therefore unanimously rejected the revised proposal on 14th May 2024.”

Crest Nicholson earlier this week reported a pre-tax loss  of £30.9m for the six months to 30th April 20243 after a review of completed site costs resulted in a one-off charge of £31.4m.

News of Bellway’s Crest Nicholson takeover bid comes in the same week that Legal & General confirmed that its Cala Homes division is up for sale and soon after Redrow and Barratt shareholders agreed to a merger. All four companies are among the biggest dozen or so house-builders in the UK.

In other news from Crest Nicholson, chief executive Peter Truscott retired this week. As previously reported, he has been succeeded by Martyn Clark, formerly Persimmon’s chief commercial officer.

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