Crest Nicholson says it rejected multiple takeover offers by rival Bellway

14 June 2024, 07:54

A row of new houses on a street
Housing stock. Picture: PA

The bids are the latest example of attempted consolidation in the struggling housebuilding sector.

Crest Nicholson has confirmed that it rejected two takeover offers by rival Bellway last month, including one worth £650 million.

The housebuilder said the most recent offer, worth 253p per share, would have left Crest Nicholson shareholders with about 17.1% of the new company.

It also represented a premium of about 18.8% on Crest Nicholson’s share price of 213p at the close of business yesterday, it said.

The board said it “significantly undervalued Crest Nicholson and its future standalone prospects”, so rejected the offer on May 14.

A sign for Bellway on a building
Crest Nicholson has confirmed that it rejected two takeover offers by rival Bellway (PA)

Bellway also made an earlier approach on April 25, which was rejected on May 2, Crest said today.

The bids are the latest example of consolidation attempts among housebuilders, as the sector struggles through a period of weak demand due to high mortgage rates.

Earlier this year, Barratt agreed to buy Redrow, while Vistry bought Countryside in 2022.

Crest Nicholson, meanwhile, warned yesterday that annual profit will fall by about a third this year as market challenges persist longer than expected.

It said house sales have fallen back since Easter after the Bank of England delayed its decision to cut the base interest rate until later this year.

This, combined with a tricky winter period marked by high inflation and mortgage rates hampering demand, has caused an 88% fall in half-year profits to just £2.6 million for the six months to April 30.

Bellway confirmed yesterday that it had made an unsuccessful takeover offer.

By Press Association