Takeover deal creates UK’s biggest housebuilder

Persimmon has agreed to buy rival Westbury for £643m in cash, making it the largest housebuilder in the UK, ahead of Barratt Developments. Persimmon said that it expected to complete around 16,700 new homes across England, Scotland and Wales in 2006. Although one-off costs associated with the deal are likely to reach £12m, Persimmon believes that synergy benefits could exceed £25 in 2006, rising to more than £40m the following year.

Chairman Duncan Davidson said, “Westbury is an attractive business that will benefit from Persimmon's proven track record for integrating acquisitions and operational excellence. The acquisition will consolidate Persimmon's position as the leading UK housebuilder."