At a time when the UK’s serious deficit in Social Housing and Affordable Housing shows no sign of abating, it’s not just the shareholders who approved it who will welcome the news that the acquisition first announced at the start of September was finally completed on the 11th. Although described as a takeover of Countryside Partnerships by Vistry Partnerships (known as Linden Partnerships until January 2020), the new entity is to be headed by the present Vistry Chief Executive Stephen Teagle and rebranded Countryside Partnerships. And ‘partnerships’ is the operative word. Because the company says the move will transform its business by getting it more involved with its partnership projects, building affordable homes in collaboration with Homes England and various housing associations and local authorities.
With the deal adding over £1 billion to Linden/Vistry’s 2021 total of £864 million, they’re looking forward to partnership revenue alone of over £3 billion in the not-too-distant future, which means opportunities for the combined business to reap the rewards of huge economies of scale. Indeed the company sees the deal as reinforcement and consolidation that will serve as a buffer against any downturn in the building market – and the intention is to continue building thousands of sustainable private homes and other desperately needed affordable housing.
Financial considerations aside, there does appear to be a great deal of synergy in the deal – because the two companies outlooks and visions have a lot in common: Countryside with its traditional enthusiasm for high-end regeneration schemes and Vistry with its commitment to enduring partnerships in the creation of sustainable new communities.
Furthermore, what’s good news for the new company and for the country as a whole is also glad tidings for prospective affordable housing tenants and house-buyers as well as for Countryside Partnerships’ clients and contractors and the people in the communities where they work in the shape of a boost for business and the local economy as a whole.
Summing up the new company’s upbeat ethos, Vistry Group Chief Executive Greg Fitzgerald said, ‘The quality of our people and our shared commitment and values will enable us to achieve even more and, working with partners, demonstrate how vital housing is to the success of our economy and the prosperity of our communities.’