Stewart Milne Group sale ‘on hold for now’

Stewart Milne Group has put the sale process of its housebuilding business “on hold for now” due to the “current uncertainty” in the housing market.

The company announced in April it was embarking on a sale process of its housebuilding business following the decision of founder, principal shareholder and chairman Stewart Milne to retire nearly 50 years after founding the group.

The firm sold its timber frame business in late 2021 to focus on housebuilding.

A Stewart Milne Group spokesperson said: “ … the recent shift in the dynamics of the UK economy, with higher inflation and an increase in interest rates, amongst other factors, have led the directors of the company to put the discussions with the current interested parties on hold for now.

“The directors’ decision to suspend the sale process, for the time being, is fully supported by the group’s secured lenders …”

Stewart Milne Group CEO Stuart MacGregor said: “When we took the decision to sell the business in early 2022, market conditions were very different from those we are facing today.

“It has been gratifying to witness the level of interest in our business from potential buyers and we have been involved in a number of very rewarding discussions with potential buyers.

“However, given the current uncertainty in the market, we do not think it to be in the group’s best interests to continue to pursue a sale of the company with the current bidders at this time …

“We remain optimistic about future prospects and will continue to carefully evaluate, along with the group’s key stakeholders, what is best for the business as market conditions settle.

“For now, we will focus on acquiring new sites for development and delivering high quality, family homes across Scotland and north-west England.

“Sales interest has been strong across all our sites in recent months.

“The unique nature of many of our developments mean they are well-placed to attract homeowners, even in the current market conditions.”