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South East: Housebuilder Millgate merges with Countryside

By Dan Teuton
26 February 2014

Countryside Properties, which was bought by Oaktree Capital last year, is to merge with Millgate Developments.

With funds managed and advised by Oaktree Capital Management, the acquisition of Millgate, a leading premium house builder in the South East, was announced earlier this month.

Millgate’s product range will be offered in new and existing Countryside sites under the Millgate brand. The merger of the two house builders will expand the geographic reach and product offering of both groups increasing the overall value of the combined entity while achieving important synergies.

The acquisition is consistent with Countryside’s growth strategy and will allow the Millgate brand to maximise its full potential. David Simpson, managing director of Millgate, will also join the Countryside board.

Simpson said: “The board and staff at Millgate are very excited about the outstanding strategic fit of the businesses. We have found an excellent partner and look forward to working with the Countryside team to expand the Millgate brand into new areas.”

Ian Sutcliffe, executive chairman of Countryside, commented: “The compatibility of product, geography and culture of the two companies make this an outstanding strategic fit and a great opportunity to broaden our offering. I look forward to David joining the Countryside board and welcoming the Millgate team.”

Millgate builds more than 100 homes a year, chiefly in Berkshire, Surrey and Kent. Prices range from £600,000 to near £5 million. Millgate is focused on seeking out the most desirable sites, optimising planning, designing "with passion" and creating value through premium products.

Oaktree is a global investment management firm focused on alternative markets. The firm emphasises a value-oriented and risk-controlled approach to investments in distressed debt, corporate debt (including high-yield debt and senior loans), control investing, convertible securities, real estate and listed equities. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the firm has more than 800 employees and offices in 16 cities worldwide.

Countryside Properties is a leading residential developer specialising in both greenfield sites as well as the regeneration of urban communities. The Group develops both private and affordable housing with a true sense of community. Headquartered in Essex, the company’s principal areas of operation are in Greater London and the South East.

KPMG acted for Oaktree with Ashurst LLP handling legal matters. Millgate was advised by Rothschild with Osborne Clarke acting as legal adviser.

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