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Monday, 22 January, 2001, 18:15 GMT
Taylor Woodrow buys up Bryant
bryant website
Bryant also handles commercial projects
UK housebuilder Bryant has agreed to a 556m takeover by rival construction group Taylor Woodrow.

The announcement cancels former plans for a merger between competing housebuilders Bryant and Beazer.

Taylor Woodrow increased its share offer when Bryant rejected its first two conditional offers.

Beazer, left cold by Bryant, will now be under increased pressure to accept a takeover bid from Persimmon.

Powerful force

Solihull-based Bryant had previously declined to talk to Taylor Woodrow and insisted the company's offer, worth 537 million, was not good enough to dislodge its merger with Beazer.

Bryant was a long way down the line with its merger with Beazer, already having received 77% of approvals for the "merger of equals" from Beazer shareholders.

Bryant believed the merger with Beazer would create better shareholder value, right up until the last minute when Taylor Woodrow's increased bid finally prompted the two companies to talk.

Taylor Woodrow had been frustrated in its attempts to carry out "limited due diligence" on Bryant and produce firmer proposals for the company.

It believes a move for Bryant would be a "good strategic fit and a powerful force in the sector".

But shares in Taylor Woodrow lost nearly 7%, closing down 11.5p at 165.5p, while Bryant ended the day up 3.5p at 195.5p.

Pairing off

Meanwhile, Persimmon is looking to make a formal offer for Beazer at 184.8p per share within the next two days, valuing its rival housebuilder at a 528m.

If the latest takeover plan succeeds, Persimmon says that the new group will be the biggest by volume in the UK.

Shares in Beazer lost 3.5p on Monday to stand at 179.5p. Persimmon shed three pence to 261.5p.

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12 Jan 01 | Business
Taylor Woodrow ups bid for Bryant
11 Jan 01 | Business
Taylor Woodrow bids for Bryant
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