Stewart Milne Group puts housebuilding business up for sale

Stewart Milne

STEWART Milne Group has announced plans to sell its housebuilding business, following the decision of its founder to retire.

Almost 50 years after founding the group, the company revealed 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 the Donaldson Group, delivered one of its best ever financial performances for the year ending 31st October 2021. The company said these accounts will show a ‘dramatic’ increase in turnover and profits.

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 added that, in order to realise growth ambitions, ‘significant’ investment is required, particularly in its strategic land bank. The group board said it had carefully considered all options with advisers and came to the unanimous conclusion to investigate a potential sale. Ernst & Young LLP has been appointed as financial adviser to the group in this process.

Stewart Milne Group chief executive, Stuart MacGregor, said, “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 England including Dargavel Village, Shawfair, Haddington, East Linton, Hooton and Congleton.