Firm’s no-compete clause with new owner of former Linden Homes arm runs out in January 

Galliford Try is mulling over a move back into building social housing once a no-compete clause with Vistry runs out in less than two months’ time.

The firm sold its Linden Homes business to Bovis Homes, since renamed Vistry, at the start of 2020 in a deal valued at £1.1bn which included a £300m cash payment.

bill hocking

Chief executive Bill Hocking says the firm will decide in January whether to chase social housing jobs

But it agreed not to build any social housing for the next three years in order not to compete with the same business at Vistry.

This elapses in January next year and Galliford Try chief executive Bill Hocking told Building it was running the rule over whether to look again at social housing work whose clients include housing associations and registered social landlords.

“The demand for affordable housing is still huge, it’s a market that is big and is going to be around for a long time,” Hocking said. “In January we can have another look at it and decide then.” But he added: “We’re not going back into housing or speculative house building.”

The firm works in the private rented sector and is carrying out a £56m scheme in Milton Keynes and a £105m deal in Leeds – currently Galliford Try’s biggest job.

“We build residential schemes for private clients all the time. There’s no difference at all [with social housing]. The handcuffs come off in January, so we’ll see.”


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Galliford Try sold its Linden Homes business at the start of 2020. A no-compete clause with that firm’s new owner, Vistry, runs out in January next year

Galliford Try is also looking at boosting its green retrofitting of existing buildings such as fitting photovoltaic panels to roofs.

Hocking said it would be helping some clients, mainly local authorities, bankroll the initial cost. “It’s a massive market and for those clients who don’t have the money, then there’s the option for us to fund this through our balance sheet and they pay us back over five years or whatever. We’re talking to one or two clients who are very keen.”

He said the firm expected to get returns of 6% on installing the kit as well as a similar amount on helping finance the capital expenditure. “We’re testing the water and once we’re sure it works, then we will start to accelerate it.”