Irish housebuilder McInerney Homes has continued its UK acquisition drive by buying Lancing Homes of Newcastle upon Tyne.

McInerney paid £16.3m for Lancing, which specialises in private homes. Lancing made a pre-tax profit of £1.5m for the year ending 28 February 2006. McInerney will borrow £3m to finance the deal, and hopes to raise £58m with a rights issue.

McInerney has made no secret of its plans to acquire UK firms. Last year it bought Augusta Developments, of Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, and Bowey Homes, in north-east England. They helped McInerney to deliver a 16% rise in pre-tax profit to £39m for the year ending 31 December. Turnover rose 29% to £422m, and completions were up 18% to 2,372.

Barry O’Connor, managing director of McInerney, said: “We now have a significant operational base in the UK as a result of our acquisition strategy, continued investment in our landbank and the development of our senior management team. Operationally, we have achieved our objective of growing our UK homebuilding division to a scale similar to that of our existing Irish operations.”