Housebuilder Cala sold to L&G and Patron for £210m

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The Independent Online

Cala, the upmarket housebuilder, has been sold to private equity buyers by Lloyds Banking Group for £210m.

Legal & General and Patron Capital Partners are taking equal stakes of 46.5 per cent alongside a 7 per cent holding for current management.

Cala was the first Scottish company to list on the London stock market, 137 years ago.

It was taken private by management with the backing of Bank of Scotland, which as part of HBOS was taken over by Lloyds during the banking crisis.

Cala had expanded too rapidly under former management and Lloyds was forced into a debt-for-equity swap in 2009 which gave it majority control of the business. Yesterday Lloyds agreed to provide a new £100m, five-year loan facility.

Alan Brown, the chief executive of Cala, said: "Having invested heavily in growing our land bank since 2010, we are now very well positioned to grow the business significantly over the next five years."

Cala returned to profit in the year to June 2011 for the first time since 2007. In the half year to last December it made a profit of £11.4m on a 35 per cent increase in home completions to 875.