The private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group has completed its acquisition of an estimated 30% stake in social housing contractor and developer United House.
As revealed by Building last month, Lloyds Development Capital (LDC) had been in talks with the £180m-turnover London firm for several months over the deal, which will give United House a cash injection to fund its development ambitions.
The company refused to disclose the value of the deal, but based on a valuation for United House of between £150m and £200m, it is estimated to be in the region of £50m.
As part of the deal, Steve Halbert, deputy chair of property consultant GVA Grimley, will replace Geoffrey Granter as chair. Granter founded the firm in 1964.
Jeffrey Adams, chief executive of United House, said: “LDC’s backing will help us expand our capabilities and services and also work closely with local authorities, building more social housing. We will also be expanding the private residential side of our business.”
We will also be expanding the private residential side of our business
Jeffrey adams, united house
Under the deal, which was handled by KPMG and includes a new debt package with RBS, Granter has sold his estimated 65-70% stake and retired. Adams previously held the remaining stake and will now hold a large slice of equity alongside LDC and three other directors, including Halbert. Kevan Leggett, managing director of LDC South, will join the board.
The social housing arena is seen by many outside investors, including private equity houses, as an attractive investment, owing to its public income stream. LDC also has stakes in Midlands-based social housing firm Bullock and north-west England firm Herbert T Forrest.
United House is the UK’s leading housing PFI contractor, working across four projects in London and Kent, and managing more than 7,000 homes with a contract value of £975m.