Californian company that also trades under the name WL Homes has debt of up to $1bn

Emaar Properties-owned John Laing Homes, which also does business as WL Homes, has filed for bankruptcy protection in the US. Emaar said the housebuilder’s problems were behind its poor financial results, announced last week. UAE-based Emaar posted a loss of £330m for the fourth quarter of 2008. It bought John Laing Homes in 2006 for $1bn.

WL Homes has filed for bankruptcy under chapter 11 of the American bankruptcy code, claiming it has between $500,000 and $1bn of debt, owed to around 50,000 creditors.

WL Homes was formed in 1998 when Watt Homes merged with John Laing. The entity was based in California and carried out building work in Arizona, California, Colorado and Texas.

Emaar is the developer of the world's tallest building, the Burj Dubai.