Galliford Try abandons Bovis takeover

Bovis Homes Image copyright PA

Galliford Try has abandoned an effort to buy rival builder Bovis Homes.

Galliford Try said it had been unable to reach an agreement that would benefit its shareholders.

Last month, Redrow also abandoned an attempt to buy Bovis after having a takeover offer rejected.

Bovis has also announced that Greg Fitzgerald will be appointed chief executive. Mr Fitzgerald was formerly chief executive of Galliford Try and left the firm in 2014.

The previous chief executive of Bovis, David Ritchie, stepped down in January, less than two weeks after the company warned of disappointing profits.

The company said profits for 2016 would be lower than initially expected, because of delays in the construction of some homes.

The troubles at Bovis deepened in February, when it had to set aside £7m to compensate customers who were sold houses that were unfinished and had electrical and plumbing faults.

The housebuilder said then that the experiences of a significant number of customers "fell below the high standards they rightly expected".

Takeover opportunity

Rival builders Redrow and Galliford Try sensed an opportunity to snap up a company that was going through a bad patch.

However, both firms had their takeover offers rejected and have now walked away from Bovis.

In a statement, Bovis was upbeat about its prospects: "Current sales and reservations are in line with the Board's expectations and we are making good progress with our priorities for 2017.

"In 2017, the group is focused on resetting the business and driving operational improvements through cost efficiencies, more effective build processes and improvements in quality."

In early trading, Bovis shares were up 2.5% and Galliford Try was up 1%.