Fairview management suspends buyout plan

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The Independent Online

A decline in the London housebuilding market has led senior executives at Fairview, the property group, to suspend talks about a potential management buyout.

A decline in the London housebuilding market has led senior executives at Fairview, the property group, to suspend talks about a potential management buyout.

The group, which was split off from Hillsdown in 1998, said it may resume negotiations in the autumn. Shares fell 13.5p to close at 125.5p, valuing the group at £214m.

The buyout plan, led by the group's chairman Dennis Cope, was announced in April and was backed by 3i, according to industry sources. Michael Whittles, an independent director of Fairview, said: "We have got to the situation where the management team is very uncertain about where the market is going, and whether in the autumn, which is a significant selling season, it carries on down. They felt nervous about proceeding at this stage."

Fairview, which builds homes mainly within the M25 boundary, said buoyant conditions in the first half of the year meant H1 results would be strong, despite recent softening. Kate Moy, an analyst at Charterhouse Securities, said skill shortages meant Fairview was also having difficulties in getting properties built.

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