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Bank buys Church for 22.6m

THE Royal Bank of Scotland has bought heavily-borrowed South-Eastern house building group Charles Church for

22.6 million.

The Royal Bank of Scotland is one of Churchs largest creditors, with outstanding loans of 14.5 million out of the builders debts of 40.5 million.

The deal marks one of the first acquisitions by a heavily indebted construction company by its bankers. A statement said Charles Church remained dependent on the continuing support of its banking syndicate and had been considering with them for some time the best way of securing its long-term future.

Church, based in Camberley, Surrey, builds up-market houses in the South- East and made operating profits of 4.1 million on a turnover of 34.7 million in the year to last August. The firm built 192 houses on 15 sites.

Royal Bank director Derek Sach said the bank had a high regard for Churchs management team and, by having one supportive owner, it would be able to focus on developing the business.

One of the Citys leading fund managers, PDFM, has acquired a further 172,000 shares in Tay Homes to increase its stake to 15.02 per cent. But PDFM has sold 718,000 shares in McCarthy & Stone, reducing its stake to 18.61 per cent.