Tony Pidgley Jr, the son of Britain’s most successful housebuilder, has re-entered the housebuilding fray in a move that is bound to start speculation of renewed rivalry between father and son
The son of the founder of Berkeley Group confirmed this week that he has set up a London and South-east housebuilder called Langham Homes with private equity backing of up
Pidgley Jr is best known for his audacious £1bn attempt to use his property company Cadenza to buy his father’s firm in 2003. Cadenza was wound up last year after it was hit by the collapse of Icelandic bank Landsbanki.
Pidgley said: “There’s a lot of land trading going on at the moment, bit I think there’s a niche for a good quality builder that’s actually able to deliver on sites. I’m not just going to trade, the intention is to build sites out.”
Langham will be Pidgley Jr’s third venture after setting up housebuilder Thirlstone Homes in 1991 with a loan from his mother, before it was bought by Berkeley in 1998. “It’s going to be akin to Thirlstone,” he said.
However, he denied there was any chance of conflict with Pidgley senior, despite the fact that Berkeley is also focused on south-eastern England. He said: “It’s a very different business we have - ours is very much a niche operation. I don’t see there being any conflict.”
Pidgley Jr has set up the company with Martin Redman, a former director at estate agent Hamptons International.
The firm has already bought and sold one site for six homes in Bracknell, and is in talks to buy a further three sites. Pidgley said he had £30-50m to spend on land, but had the ability to raise further finance.
A housebuilder source said: “He’s back in the land market big time, with the intention of being a proper housebuilder. It’s very interesting.”