Westleigh Group: Game changer housebuilder sale - Deal alerts - Gateley
Deal alert

Westleigh Group: Game changer housebuilder sale

Gateley Legal

Leicestershire housebuilder, Westleigh Group, provides the total package from project concept to completion. They create quality homes and buildings for sale to private owners, institutions, industrial and commercial clients and are one of the top five developers of affordable housing in the UK.

Established in 1985 by husband and wife Chris and Judy Beighton, Westleigh has built up a reputation over the years across Central and Northern England, working with housing associations and councils to build affordable housing developments.

With a turnover of £146.1m, in the year to 31 March 2018 the business has built more than 1,100 homes, held a land bank of almost 5,000 plots and held gross assets of over £76m.

Our team first worked with Westleigh in 2016 when we advised on a £21m investment in the housebuilder by Palatine Private Equity, an investment which revitalised the company, leading to a 35% increase on results from the previous year.

Following on from this, in April 2018 we advised on the sale of Westleigh for £135.4m to Essex-based Countryside Properties, a listed UK homebuilder, specialising in place making and urban regeneration. The buyer felt that combining Westleigh’s regional expertise with the Countryside mixed tenure business model would lead to huge opportunities for growth in line with Countryside’s strategy to expand its partnerships business, which works with local authorities and housing associations to deliver affordable homes.

The team was diligent, organised and persistent, encouraging us to deliver what was needed so they could do their jobs. I would definitely put them on my recommend list.
Chris Beighton, Chairman, Westleigh Group

We were delighted to continue to support Westleigh by advising the Shareholders (management and Palatine Private Equity) on the sale to Countryside. Our existing relationship with Westleigh and our extensive knowledge of the business from the investment in 2016 enabled us to streamline the sale process and minimise the number of employees that needed to be aware of pending transaction.

A narrowed due diligence scope was agreed with Countryside using the reports prepared for Palatine Private Equity’s investment and by scheduling regular calls and meetings with the Westleigh management team we were able to efficiently deliver responses to the buyer’s due diligence enquiries throughout the sale process.

The Shareholders were kept informed of progress throughout and with our team providing most of the ‘heavy lifting’, they were able to focus on the germane commercial and legal issues in their dealings with Countryside. Our familiarity with the business and its staff enabled us to quickly produce principal documentation without the need for constant input from management. This allowed the sale to complete within two months of receipt of the offer letter with minimal disruption to Westleigh’s day to day business.

Our advice to Westleigh was provided by a cross-disciplined team led by our Corporate department, and also included lawyers Banking & Finance, Real Estate, Commercial, Pensions, Tax, Employment and Regulatory.

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