Firm snaps up 10-year-old Derby business 

Starfish, development site, Leopold Street, Leeds

Henry Boot, the listed Sheffield-based contractor and developer, has entered the social housebuilding sector by buying a majority stake in Starfish Commercial, a multi-tenure housing contractor.

Financial details of the deal were not revealed, although Boot said it had paid a “nominal sum”.

Founded 10 years ago by chief executive Martin Gerrelli, Derby-based Starfish’s activities include building homes for local authorities and housing associations.

It also builds sustainable homes through its Hilbre Homes joint venture with Magenta Living.

Boot said it would invest in and support Starfish “to enable it to continue providing its current order book and to grow its business with a future pipeline of opportunities”.

In April Starfish began work to build 59 sustainable homes in Leeds (pictured), with partners Unity Housing and funding group ChaCo.

Last week, Boot appointed former British Land director Tim Roberts as its new chief executive. He starts next January.