36-year-old entrepreneur Andrew Goodall is targeting other housebuilders for takeover bids.
Entrepreneur Andrew Goodall, who was this week revealed as the mystery bidder for Alfred McAlpine, says he is eyeing up a number of housebuilders for potential takeovers.

Goodall, managing director and majority shareholder in developer Brunswick Developments, refused to rule out the possibility of increasing his 215p-a-share offer for Alfred McAlpine. The bid, which was rejected by the company last month, valued it at £243m.

He said: "From our perspective, that's what we think the company is worth. I wouldn't be able to comment further. That said, there are opportunities in the housing market and we have our eyes on a couple of other opportunities of a not dissimilar size to McAlpine."

Goodall, 36, refused to comment on rumours that he would have sold McAlpine's contracting arm to focus on housebuilding if his offer had been accepted. He added that further bids would be made on a friendly basis.

Commenting on the takeover bid, McAlpine group finance director Jeffrey Hume said: "We are in a much better position than some people think and our share price doesn't reflect that. I expect there will be many people looking at us. We wouldn't be human beings if we didn't consider all the things we can do to improve shareholder value."

Goodall secured financial backing for his approach for McAlpine from Royal Bank of Scotland. This angered McAlpine, which is now "in discussions" with the bank.

"We were disappointed to find that Royal Bank of Scotland were party to discussions with our major shareholders without talking to us first," said Hume.

We have our eyes on a couple of opportunities of a not dissimilar size to McAlpine

Andrew Goodall

But Hume denied that relationships were strained with Phillips & Drew, the 2090-plus major shareholder that supported Goodall's approach for the firm.

"It has its own position to consider and has influences and views that are not necessarily the same as our other shareholders," said Hume. "It is no way an antagonistic relationship but it is true to say it supported the 215p-a-share price. "

Brunswick made a profit of £1.3m after tax in the year to 31 December 1998. Analysts expect McAlpine to boost pre-tax profit from last year's £34m to £40m this year.

Goodall, an accountant, started Brunswick in 1988, with his father Bob Goodall joining as building director soon after. After a series of residential developments, the company bought Brighton Marina from Brent Walker for £9m in 1996.

He believes he can bring his property sector experience along with his "enthusiasm and a reasonable track record" to bear in the housebuilding market.