Morale "collapsing" at housebuilder as Persimmon cuts staff by half after its £537.5m takeover.
Persimmon Homes may axe up to 800 Beazer staff – about half the workforce – and close 12 offices to make savings of £20m a year.

Persimmon, which described the restructuring as "very delicate", is refusing to say how many jobs will go but sources inside Beazer claimed 800 staff have been told they will be axed.

Twelve offices, including Beazer's headquarters in Bath, will be closed.

Building understands that all the job losses will come at Beazer Homes, which Persimmon bought for £537.5m last month to create the UK's largest housebuilder. The upmarket Beazer subsidiary Charles Church will escape untouched.

Geoffrey Grewer, Persimmon's group secretary, this week confirmed that management teams were visiting Beazer offices to discuss job losses and office closures. He said: "There will be good news for some and not so good news for others." Beazer staff said the atmosphere since Persimmon bought the company last month had been "like hell". The shake-up has seen Beazer's senior executives and directors, including chief executive John Low, leave the group.

There’s an integration process we are having to go through. It’s at a very delicate stage. It is very difficult for all Beazer employees.

Geoffrey Grewer, Persimmon group company secretary

The future of Beazer's innovative prefabrication factories in Suffolk and west Lothian is unclear. Many industry watchers believe they will be sold.

One City analyst said: "John White isn't interested in prefab – he wants rid of them." Grewer was in Beazer's Bath office this week meeting staff. He said details of the job losses would be released in about two weeks.

  "There's a rationalisation and integration process we are having to go through," he said. "It's at a very delicate stage in the process. It is very difficult for all Beazer employees. There have been many months of uncertainty with the Bryant deal and our takeover." A Beazer employee who contacted Building said: "Morale and sales are collapsing. It makes those of us that are staying feel even worse." Another said the takeover had been very difficult for Beazer staff as Persimmon moved in and started making them redundant.