Moray housebuilder Springfield Properties has snapped up Inverness rival Tulloch Homes in a deal worth £56.4 million.
Elgin-based Springfield said the enlarged group would have a land bank worth around £3.5 billion, in gross development value terms.
This equates to about 14 years of development at current rates of activity.
The group’s total land bank will comprise 17,072 plots, including 56% with planning consent, across 56 active and 83 planned future sites.
We have always admired Tulloch and its people, and we look forward to welcoming them into the Springfield group and continuing to grow our businesses together.”
Innes Smith, chief executive, Springfield Properties.
Springfield, whose shares had slipped by 0.34% to £1.46 at market close today (December 1), said it intended to keep Tulloch’s “strong brand identity”.
It will run Tulloch as a separate business unit within the enlarged group, with an independent sales team and business targets.
Tulloch will be led by the newly appointed managing director Sandy Grant, who has been with the business for 18 years.
Mr Grant succeeds longstanding chief executive George Fraser, who will be retiring.
Tulloch’s office in Inverness will be retained and Springfield said there were “no immediate plans to rationalise” the north company’s workforce.
Tulloch employed 136 people, on average, during the year to June 30 2021.
The privately-owned company sold 219 houses – 160 private and 59 affordable – during the same period.
Tulloch Group generated revenue of £46.4m, operating profit of £6.3m and ppre-tax profits of £6m.
Springfield aims to raise £22m from a share placement to help pay for its acquisition, which is conditional shareholders approving the move at a general meeting on December 20.
The company said it would pay £43.4m upfront and a further £13m at a later stage to shareholders including Mr Fraser.
Springfield chief executive Innes Smith, said: “Springfield and Tulloch are two companies founded in the north of Scotland which share similar values and aspirations.
“It (Tulloch) is a housebuilder with a fantastic reputation and a close bond with the local community.
“It is also led by an experienced management team, which has delivered excellent housing developments in Inverness and the Highlands, and has set a high bar for its outstanding customer service.”
Mr Smith added: “Inverness and the Highlands offer great places to live. Inverness is also Scotland’s fastest growing city and there is an ever-increasing demand for quality housing in the area.
“While Springfield has been building a presence across the city in recent years, working alongside Tulloch we can increase the delivery of high-quality homes that meet the city’s needs.
“We have always admired Tulloch and its people, and we look forward to welcoming them into the Springfield group and continuing to grow our businesses together.
‘Exciting new chapter’
Mr Grant said: “Joining the Springfield Group opens an exciting new chapter for the company.
“Being a part of this larger group will create new opportunities for Tulloch, allowing for greater knowledge sharing and skills development amongst our people, whilst retaining the diversification in brands to offer choice to homebuyers across the Highlands in and around Inverness.
“This is a big moment for Tulloch, and I look forward to working alongside Springfield’s management team to drive forward growth and progression for our company.”
It is the fourth acquisition for Alternative Investment Market-listed Springfield, following the purchase of Redrow’s Scottish operations in 2011 as well as the acquisition of Dawn Homes and Walker Group in 2018 and 2019 respectively.