Fitzgerald spent 33 years at Galliford Try

Bovis Homes has rejected Galliford Try’s £1.2bn takeover bid for the company - and instead hired its suitor’s former boss Greg Fitzgerald (pictured) as chief executive.

Bovis - which also repelled an offer from Redrow last month - said it had hired Fitzgerald on an annual salary of £650,000, although he can earn bonuses and incentives worth close to £7m over the first three years.

Fitzgerald spent 33 years at Galliford Try and led it as chief executive and then chairman before announcing plans to retire, stepping down in November last year.

Bovis said it had been in discussion with Galliford’s board - now led by chief executive Peter Truscott and chairman Peter Ventress - since its approach last month, but Galliford had not upped its offer and the housebuilder had decided it did not “reflect the underlying value of the Bovis business”.

Galliford Try separately informed investors it had formally withdrawn its offer as it had “become clear… it is not possible to secure the support of the board of Bovis”. Redrow formally withdrew its offer last week.

Fitzgerald joins Bovis after a troubled period for the firm, which has underperformed its peers and lost its previous chief executive David Ritchie in January.

In February Bovis announced a 3% fall in annual pre-tax profit, down to £154.7m on turnover just over £1bn.

It also revealed it was making what it called a “one-off £7m customer care provision” after a high level of customer service issues, including buyers moving into newly built homes that suffered from problems including electrical and plumbing faults.