Stewart Milne retires, puts firm up for sale

Stewart Milne

Stewart Milne Group announced it is embarking on a sale process of its housebuilding business following the decision of founder, principal shareholder and chairman Stewart Milne (71) to retire nearly 50 years after founding the group.

Stewart Milne Group recently sold its timber frame business to focus on housebuilding in its core markets in Scotland and North-West England.

The company has offices in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester with a workforce of 1,000, including sub-contractors.

The group has around 20 developments ongoing across Scotland and North-West England including Dargavel Village, Shawfair, Haddington, East Linton, Hooton and Congleton.

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 said that in order to realise its growth ambitions, significant investment is required, particularly in its strategic land bank, to create high-margin development opportunities.

“The group board carefully considered all options with its advisers and came to the unanimous conclusion to investigate a potential sale,” said the firm.

“Ernst & Young LLP (“EY”) has been appointed as financial adviser to the group in this process.”

Stewart Milne Group CEO Stuart MacGregor, added: “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.”

About the Author

Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.