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Fairview of PTP for 3i

As last year drew to a close so did the preparation on 3i’s largest single investment of the year. This was the 180 pence per share offer for Fairview Holdings, the south east of England housebuilder, which valued the company at over GBP300 million and would return Fairview from a public to private company.

Fairview was first listed on the London Stock Exchange as a separate company in 1998. Prior to this it was a division of Hillsdown Holdings, itself a London Stock Exchange listed company. Hillsdown had bought Fairview in 1987. Fairview, which focuses on the provision of predominantly low to medium cost residential housing in the London M25 area primarily on brownland sites, was started by Dennis Cope in 1961. It is Cope who has led this recent public to private transaction. He said: “The investment by 3i reflects confidence in our prospects and will allow us to maximise our potential in the London property market. We have consistently maintained a strong financial performance, even through periods of economic slowdown. We are now looking forward to building on our success and continuing to work as an independent business.”

The offer made by 3i was a cash offer and leaves 3i, its managed funds, together with debt provider Bank of Scotland, with an 80 per cent stake in Fairview. Both 3i and Bank of Scotland have previously backed companies in the same sector as Fairview. For 3i, it is the investments in Banner Homes and Morris Homes, and for Bank of Scotland it is the Linden Homes and Cala Homes transactions.

Fairview boasted sales of GBP193 million and operating profits of GBP58 million in 1999.