The housebuilder has converted £359m in debt into equity, and appointed William Rucker as its new chairman

Housebuilder Crest Nicholson has completed a major debt restructuring and appointed William Rucker as its new chairman.

A total of £359m in debt has been converted into equity, and the company reports a strengthened balance sheet with net assets of £173m restated at 31st October 2010.

Crest has achieved strong summer sales, and has moved to replenish its land assets. The group’s short-term land bank comprises over 12,000 plots, and it has a further 16,000 in its strategic land bank.

With current cash balances approaching £100m, the company continues to implement a medium-term growth strategy based on delivering sustainable homes and mixed use communities in the southern half of the UK.    

Chief executive Stephen Stone said the restructuring was a “milestone” for the company: “We are now free to take the business forward with a balance sheet that reflects and supports the underlying strength and potential of the business.”

The debt restructuring has been followed by changes to the company’s board. Andrew Coppel has stepped down as an independent non-executive director, while William Rucker has replaced Alan Goldman as chairman.

Rucker is CEO of Lazard in the UK, Chairman of Quintain Estates & Development PLC and Non-Executive Director of Rentokil-Initial and said he was “delighted” to be joining the firm.