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Willmott looks for growth after housing sale


WILLMOTT Dixon became a building company this week after it off-loaded its social housing business to its former suppor t services arm, Inspace.

The £64.5 million deal will be wrapped up by the beginning of September and will also include Willmott Dixon's private development business, Widacre Homes.

Proceeds of the sale will be ploughed back into the building division which has a turnover of close to £300 million and is expected to grow to £500 million by 2009. The business employs 400 people but the firm is looking to lift this by 100.

Inspace, which was set up three years ago, was floated on AIM last May and already carries out repair and maintenance work to social housing.

Willmott Dixon chief executive Rick Willmott said the move was to ensure Inspace provided a complete service to social housing clients.

He said: 'It is very much in our customers' best interests to bring the social and affordable housing operations of Willmott Dixon and Inspace together.'

The senior management team, headed by Chris Durkin, will remain the same and there will be no redundancies among the business's 300 staff.

Willmott Dixon owns 22 per cent of Inspace with further separate stakes being held by Mr Willmott and non-executive director Steve Dixon.

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