Housebuilder buys joint venture partner's 50% share of developer

London housebuilder Berkeley Group is to pay £191m to its joint venture partner RWE Thames Water for the 50% of the developer St James that is does not already own.

The purchase, which was announced to the stock exchange this morning, is split into two payments of £97.5m for the business and £93.5m for six new development sites and to pay outstanding creditors.

St James was established by Berkeley and Thames Water in May 1996 and over the past 10 years has sold 5000 units.

It announced operating profit of £34.8m on turnover of £319.5m in its end of year results on 31 December 2005.

The major projects that St James is working on include Grosvenor Waterside in Pimlico, London, and The Hamptons at Worcester Park, Surrey.