Housebuilder Vistry buys Countryside Partnerships

Vistry Group has agreed to buy rival housebuilder Countryside Partnerships for £1.25bn.

This will give the company a major role in supplying affordable housing, as the partnerships division works with councils and housing associations to deliver homes.

Countryside Partnerships is set to be rebranded following the purchase.

Greg Fitzgerald, chief executive of Vistry, said: “I think she looks pretty good from a political perspective and I would have thought what she said about housing, infrastructure spend and easing the cost-of-living crisis can only be a positive thing for both private and affordable housing.”

Two US investors to Countryside, Browning West and Inclusive Capital Partners, have been pushing for a sale of the company for some time, which was seen as failing to capitalise on the post-pandemic property boom.

Indeed, Countryside ousted its chief executive Iain McPherson in January after trading was worse than it expected.

Vistry was valued at £1.6bn before the deal, while Countryside was worth £1.1bn.

Vistry pledged to keep debt levels at 10% of its equity, while the deal is being funded with debt arranged by HSBC.

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