Willmott Dixon to divide into three “sister” businesses

Willmott Dixon, a privately owned contractor that has been a familiar fixture on the UK construction scene, has announced that it is to split into three "sister" businesses.

The firm’s three strands – contracting, residential development and support services – will have "greater operational, financial and strategic independence to pursue their individual growth plans".

The businesses’ hope to become "more than subsidiaries" of Willmott Dixon, although they will still be owned by the Willmott family.

The three sister companies will be:      

  • Willmott Dixon Holdings with two subsidiaries: Willmott Dixon Construction and Willmott Dixon Interiors     
  • Willmott Residential with three subsidiaries: Prime Place, Be:here and Willmott Partnership Homes   
  • Wimpole Equity Holdings with one subsidiary: Fortem

Willmott Residential now has 7,500 homes in planning or in development.

Rick Willmott, group chief executive (pictured), said: "This year has seen some important developments to support our growth ambitions. In May, we formed Willmott Residential to combine the capabilities of Prime Place, Be:here and Homes within one company.

"This has already opened up many opportunities for sharing skills, identifying land opportunities and bringing a more holistic approach to house building for our partners and customers.  

"More recently, we rebranded our support services businesses as Fortem to grow a strong brand using the technical strengths and capabilities that exist in our people to create a business with greater access to a variety of markets outside its core housing sector."

The firm also announced its half-year results, including pre-tax profit of up from £8.1m ($10.1m) last year to £12m ($15m) this.

Willmott said: "Willmott Dixon will remain a billion-pound-plus company in 2017 and we’ll focus on our core strength of contracting, both new build and fit-out, with 85% of budgeted workload identified and secured for 2017.

"At construction, our growing geographic reach was again recently underlined by the recent opening of the Farnborough office to complement the existing five local company offices together with their satellite locations."

Images via Willmott Dixon

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