Quartet of investors now competing to acquire house builder

Four blue-chip property investors, including the owner of Pinewood Studios, are bidding to buy Doncaster-based house builder Keepmoat Homes, according to reports this afternoon.

Sky News says it understands Aermont Capital, Apollo Global Management, Patron Capital and Terra Firma Capital Partners – the financier Guy Hands’ investment vehicle – are the final remaining bidders for Keepmoat Homes.

It adds sources have said a decision was likely to be taken later in the summer about a successful bidder, even as Keepmoat’s owners retain the option of exploring a potential public listing for the business.

Any private sale is likely to value the company at about £700m, while an initial public offering could come up with an even higher price tag.

Keepmoat is run by Tim Beale, a former Crest Nicholson executive. It is currently owned by private equity firms TDR Capital, which supported the Issa brothers £6.8bn takeover of Asda, and Sun Capital which is led by entrepreneur Hugh Osmond.

Speaking to TheBusinessDesk.com earlier this year Beale explained the success of the business was partly down to its partnership approach stating: “[The partnership model] is attractive because it offers a high return on capital. We build more sites, we deliver more much needed homes for people with less investment required – which means it’s great for society but it’s great for investors too.”

Beale became chief executive of the business in 2019 having previously joined Keepmoat in 2017 as a divisional chairman before spending a year as chief operating officer and deputy chief executive. Looking ahead, he explains Keepmoat Homes is continuing to grow its operations across its core geographies but particularly in Yorkshire, North West, Midlands and Scotland.

Keepmoat Homes was acquired by the TDR and Sun Capital in 2014 from Lloyds Banking Group, with both also owning Knaresborough-based modular housebuilder ilke Homes, which evolved out of Keepmoat Homes and launched in 2017.