Taylor Wimpey wipes out huge debt with US sale

Aaron Morby 13 years ago
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Taylor Wimpey has sold its US and Canadian housing arm for £595m enabling the house builder to pay down much of its huge debt mountain.

TMM Holdings Limited Partnership, the property investor backed by TPG Capital and Oaktree, agreed the all-cash deal last night, which was 3.5% more than Taylor Wimpey chiefs expected the business to fetch.

The deal will allow the house builder to pay down much of its £660m debt and put the firm on a much firmer footing than any other house builder to fund expansion in the  UK.

House builders have all reported a busy start to the year in sales activity. Most believe the Spring selling season will herald the start of the recovery after dismal sales in the Autumn.

Shares in both Wimpey and Barratt have rallied 20% in the last three months, despite fears that house price falls could hit building volumes.

Pete Redfern, group chief executive, said: “We are delighted to announce the sale of our North American business, which is a significant step towards our goal of becoming a UK focused home builder.

“The sale will provide us with a strengthened balance sheet and increased financial capacity to invest in the UK and to pursue our strategic aims of focusing on margin growth.

He added: “Following a competitive process, we are pleased to have achieved a price that reflects an attractive valuation for this business.

“I have been hugely impressed by our North American employees and would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their hard work, loyalty and commitment over many years and in relation to this transaction.”

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