Beazer to be valued at pounds 450m: Hanson will give housebuilder pounds 50m cash for expansion

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HANSON plans to float Beazer Homes, the UK housebuilder it acquired in 1991, with pounds 50m of net cash to fund its initial expansion. Including the new money, Beazer is expected to come to the market with a value of about pounds 450m.

The issue of the company's pathfinder prospectus yesterday also revealed a return to the black in the year to September 1993 after heavy write-offs the previous year and a notional net dividend for the year to June 1994 of 5.4p.

The changed year-end marks a return to the industry norm after two years of fitting in with Hanson's financial calendar.

Pre-tax profits were pounds 37.8m compared with a pounds 63.6m loss in 1992, which was struck after a pounds 99.3m exceptional charge mainly relating to land value write-downs.

Dennis Webb, chief executive, said trading in the first four months had been strong with reservations 33 per cent up and completions running 28 per cent higher, but he warned, that operating margins would be hit by last year's write-downs. Beazer's shares are to be priced on 10 March, with the deadline for applications a week later.

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