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Last Updated: Sunday, 25 March 2007, 11:45 GMT 12:45 UK
Wimpey and Woodrow 'eye merger'
George Wimpey build homes
The merged company would be large enough for the FTSE 100
Housebuilders George Wimpey and Taylor Woodrow are about to merge, a number of Sunday newspapers have reported.

A tie-up between the two UK companies could be announced to the London Stock Exchange as early as Monday morning, according to the press speculation.

The firms, which both have operations in the US, are said to be keen to merge because of the current slowdown in the American housing market.

Both George Wimpey and Taylor Woodrow declined to comment.

Job cut fears

Wimpey's chief executive Peter Redfern is expected to take control of any merged company, while the chairman of Taylor Woodrow, Norman Askew, would remain in that role.

The combined company would be propelled into the FTSE 100 list of the UK's largest public companies by market capitalisation, and would have a workforce of about 14,000.

Some analysts have predicted that at least 10% of those jobs could be cut following the merger.

Both firms have recently warned of tough trading conditions in the US.

Building firm enjoys housing boom
10 Jan 07 |  West Midlands
US housing blow to Wimpey profit
20 Dec 06 |  Business
Tough year to erode Wimpey profit
06 Jan 06 |  Business
Housebuilders suffer UK slowdown
06 Sep 05 |  Business

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