More consolidation on way as Wilcon buys Wainhomes for £132.5m.
Wilson Connolly chairman Allan Leighton has warned rivals that the wave of consolidations sweeping the housebuilding sector will intensify.

Wilcon last week bought private housebuilder Wainhomes for £132.5m in a deal that takes it into the top 10 housebuilders.

Leighton said: "This will increase the consolidation process. The fear factor is there and people start looking over their shoulders. You are either the prey or a predator." He denied that City pressure played as large a part in the Wainhomes deal as it had in recent mergers. Wilcon's share price improved 12p to 186p after the deal was announced.

Consolidation will reduce the industry to three or four large housebuilders – one of which will be Wilcon, Leighton said. He said he expects this to happen within five years.

The deal will give Wilcon an extra 3400 plots with planning permission and another 7600 without. The total landbank will grow to 38,000 plots, 18,000 of those with planning permission. Wilcon intends to create seven or eight "super regions", each with sales of £100m.

Leighton said the deal was made easier because Wilcon was able to find out about its target without revealing its plans to the stock market. Wainhomes, went private two years ago.

Bill Ainscough, chairman of Wainhomes owns 71% of the company. He will pocket about £44m from the deal.

After the takeover is complete, Ainscough will join Wilcon's main board as non-executive director.