Stewart Milne Group is embarking on a sale process of its housebuilding business, following the decision of its founder and principal shareholder to retire.
Nearly 50 years after founding the group, chairman Stewart Milne (71) is making plans for his retirement and the Board has decided to capitalise on the current strong performance of homes’ sales and favourable market conditions by putting the business up for sale.
Stewart Milne Group, which recently sold its timber frame business to focus on housebuilding in its core markets in Scotland and North-West England, has taken major steps to improve efficiency and profitability to reposition the business for future growth.
The award-winning, independent housebuilding group has delivered one of its best ever financial performances for the year ending 31st October 2021. These accounts will show a dramatic increase in turnover and profits driven by high demand for its family homes.
Stewart Milne said: “The unprecedented events of the last two years have forced many to re-evaluate and, after considerable soul-searching, I have decided that the time is right to step back from the business I founded to prioritise my time for family, friends and other ventures I want to pursue.
“In the last 18 months, we’ve significantly strengthened the business with major efficiencies and our new homes range. This ambitious overhaul of our designs offers a new range of spacious, high quality family homes that meet the changing needs of buyers. We are superbly placed to capitalise on the favourable market conditions and demand which are set to continue in the near-term.”
Stewart Milne Group says that, in order to realise its growth ambitions, significant investment is required, particularly in its strategic land bank to create future, high-margin development opportunities. The group board carefully considered all options with its advisers and came to the unanimous conclusion to investigate a potential sale. Ernst & Young LLP ("EY") has been appointed as financial adviser to the group in this process.
Stewart Milne Group chief executive, Stuart MacGregor, added: “We anticipate attracting a high level of interest from potential buyers who will invest in order to capitalise on the strength of our business and the buoyancy of the current homes market.
“We have one of the strongest sales pipelines in our history and anticipate generating significant sales over the next two years. With a strategic bank of land, award-winning developments, our new homes range and recently completed investments in new IT systems and in digital transformation, Stewart Milne Group presents a compelling proposition.
“Our design and build standards of excellence in creating distinctive and highly desirable communities are a key differentiator, positioning us as a leader in place-making.
“However, with land prices rising, more investment is needed to take advantage of our unrivalled landbuying experience and the development opportunities available.”
Stewart Milne Group has offices in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester with a workforce of 1,000, including sub-contractors. Around 20 developments are currently at various stages across Scotland and North-West England including Dargavel Village, Shawfair, Haddington, East Linton, Hooton and Congleton.