George Wimpey and Taylor Woodrow confirm that 700 jobs will go as a result of £5bn merger

Taylor Woodrow’s head office in Solihull is to close as part of the company’s £5bn merger with George Wimpey, the companies confirmed today.

Peter Redfern
Peter Redfern will run Taylor Wimpey

Speaking as both firms issued trading updates ahead of completion of the deal, which is expected to be finalised on Monday, Taylor Wimpey chief executive Peter Redfern said that the Solihull office would be one of four office closures across both companies.

The combined business, which will be the UK’s largest housebuilder, will be headquartered in London, in a separate premises to the current George Wimpey headquarters. The business will have 34 offices, and its UK activities will be divided into North, Midlands and South regions.

Peter Redfern, current George Wimpey chief executive, will run the business, with Peter Johnson, of Taylor Woodrow, as finance director.

Redfern said that there would be 700 job cuts across the business as a result of the merger, a figure which is marginally higher than the 5% the companies estimated when the merger was announced earlier this year. This will leave the combined group with a total of 13000 staff.

In trading updates, both companies said that they expected the UK housing market to be less buoyant in the second half due to the impact of recent interest rate changes and the effect of these on customer confidence.

The companies said US housing market remained tough, although there were no further provisions to follow those made by Taylor Woodrow earlier this year, when it announced a £41.6m hit to its US business.

Peter Redfern said: “In the US short term market conditions remain difficult to predict. The focus of the business remains on managing costs and maintaining a steady sales rate.”