Steve Morgan is stepping down as chairman of housebuilder Redrow and plans to sell most of his 34.5% stake to shareholders.
Morgan, who set up the company in 1974, aims to sell 67 million Redrow shares valued at 170p each. He said the sale, which would net him £115m and leave him with a 4.5% stake, would enhance shareholder value and help finance development.
He will be replaced by former Tory construction minister Robert Jones, who joined the Redrow board in 1997. Jones will become non-executive chairman.
Morgan, 47, who is leaving the company to pursue other business opportunities, said: “Redrow has never been in better shape. The company enjoys a superb reputation for quality, an outstanding product and a record that compares with the best in the industry.”
Finance director Neil Fitzsimmons said the group’s operating and reporting structures would be streamlined and the branding policy updated. He added that the management was stable: “The story would be different if we had a completely new chairman from the outside. We do not need any radical changes to the way we do things.”
Morgan’s announcement comes after strong results. Pre-tax profit rose 21% to £67.2m on turnover up 19% to £405m for the year to 30 June. Housing completions rose 7% to 3338. The average selling price of properties rose 11% to £118 800, which the group said reflected its increasing emphasis on southern England.