Bovis’ Australian parent confirms that it is in negotiations to buy Berkeley subsidiary Crosby Homes

Lend Lease, the Australian developer and parent of contractor Bovis, this week confirmed that it is in talks to buy housebuilder Crosby Homes from the Berkeley Group. Berkeley also issued a statement to the stock exchange.

The announcements were made on Tuesday after Building revealed last week that the two parties were negotiating a deal, and that Lend Lease was undertaking due diligence (10 June, page 11). It is understood that Lend Lease has agreed to pay about £270m.

The deal would renew Bovis’ ties with the housing sector eight years after its former owner, P&O, floated Bovis Homes on the stock market.

The Lend Lease statement said: “Lend Lease can confirm that it is holding discussions with Crosby Homes and its major shareholder, the Berkeley Group, and that it continues to evaluate opportunities to grow its residential communities and retail businesses in the UK.”

Crosby Homes has offices in Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Cardiff and Bristol. It specialises in building urban apartments on brownfield land. One of its schemes is Greenquarter in Manchester, where more than 1500 apartments will be built over the next five years.

It is likely that Crosby will become part of Lend Lease’s urban communities business, which is run by Keith Perry.

Lend Lease and Berkeley said negotiations were continuing but the deal was not yet certain.