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Wed November 13 2019

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Speculation surrounds Galliford chief’s move

21 Oct According to a weekend newspaper report, Galliford Try chief executive Graham Prothero wants to go with the housing side of the business in its planned sale to Bovis Homes rather than stay and run the rump construction business.

Graham Prothero  – on the move?
Graham Prothero – on the move?

If he does that, he would not only be observing the rubric ‘follow the money’ – Linden makes money, Galliford Try Construction loses it – but he would also be reuniting with his old boss Greg Fitzgerald.

Graham Prothero joined Galliford Try in 2013 as finance director when Greg Fitzgerald was chief executive. He became chief executive in March 2019 in succession to Peter Truscott, who is now with Crest Nicholson. Peter Truscott joined Galliford Try in 2015 from Taylor Wimpey, in succession to Greg Fitzgerald, who is now the chief executive of Bovis Homes.

According to the Sunday Times, Graham Prothero wants to join Greg Fitzgerald at Bovis, potentially meaning a move upstairs to chairman for Mr Fitzgerald to allow Mr Prothero to be chief executive.

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The whole affair is made a little messy by the fact that the allegations surface as the two companies are in the midst of negotiations. Last month it was announced that Bovis Homes has agreed to pay Galliford Try £300m in cash for Linden Homes and Galliford Try Partnerships. It will also take on £100m of transferred debt and issue £675m of new Bovis shares to existing Galliford Try shareholders. The deal would leave Galliford Try as a pure construction contractor. [See our previous report here.]

Galliford Try’s 2018 group revenues of £3.1bn included £947m from Linden Homes and £475m from Partnerships. Construction accounted for £1.7bn of group revenue. However, Linden Homes made an operating profit of £184.4m and Partnerships £23.6m while Galliford Try Construction made an operating loss of £29.1m last year.

A Galliford Try spokesperson said: “As has been previously stated, there remains significant work to be done before a transaction with Bovis plc can be concluded, and it is too early to speculate on the future management of Galliford Try. The focus of the board is on completing the proposed transaction, and the topic of management will be considered in due course.”   

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