Move will make Barratt remains biggest housebuilder in UK with about 20,000 completions per year

Barratt has bought Wilson Bowden for £2.2bn in the largest ever deal involving a housing developer in the UK.

The surprise move will ensure Barratt become the biggest housebuilder in the country. The housebuilder has been vying with Persimmon for the top spot since Persimmon bought Westbury Homes last year. Together Barratt and Wilson Bowden built over 19,700 houses for the year ended June 30,

David Wilson Homes
More homes for Barratt

In a statement Barratt Chairman Charles Toner said: “This is an excellent strategic fit which will create a sector leader with strengths right across the market, in terms of both geographical coverage and product offering. This is a move that will deliver value and is an exceptional opportunity.”

David Wilson, chairman of Wilson Bowden, said: "The enlarged group will be one of the UK's largest housebuilders. Both businesses have powerful brands and a wealth of strong management."

HBOS and Sir Ian Hunter were also bidding for Wilson but pulled out of the process, according to the Financial Times.

Wilson Bowden Developments builds offices, industrial properties and business parks, while its main David Wilson Homes brand is the fifth biggest housebuilder in the UK. Wilson Bowden City Homes builds apartments in inner city locations.

Barratt shares rose 4.3% on the news this morning, up 53p to 1280p.