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Sat June 22 2024

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New debt to equity deal to put Crest in US hands

8 Aug 11 Housebuilder Crest Nicholson is set to be taken over by US investment group Varde, a hedge fund that specialises in distressed debt.

As previously reported, Varde has spent the past year buying up Crest’s debt and now controls more than 80% of the company. It is now working with Crest on a balance sheet restructuring to convert £500m debt to equity. This will see Varde as majority owner, with Crest’s management and a consortium of seven banks also having shares in the business.

Crest became 90% owned by its 24 lending banks following a previous £630m debt for equity swap in January 2009.

Varde’s involvement with Crest Nicholson began in September 2010 when it took over HBOS’s 30% stake in the business from Lloyds.

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