Berkeley Group Said to Reject Bovis Merger Proposed by Schroders

Berkeley Group Holdings Plc has rejected a proposed merger with competitor Bovis Homes Group Plc, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

Berkeley, London’s largest homebuilder, is focused on growing through partnerships with land owners and isn’t seeking acquisitions or mergers for now, the person said, asking not to be identified because the policy is private. The investment unit of Schroders Plc, Bovis’s second-largest shareholder, had written to Berkeley’s board proposing the merger, the Sunday Times reported.

Spokesmen for Berkeley and Bovis declined to comment. The Telegraph reported Berkeley had rejected the proposal earlier.

The merger proposal came after Bovis said in December that it would complete fewer homes than previously expected for 2016. David Ritchie stepped down as the company’s chief executive officer on Jan. 9 and was immediately replaced on an interim basis by group finance director Earl Sibley.

Bovis gained as much as 5.6 percent after the report on the merger proposal, the most in four months. That gives the company a market value of 1.1 billion pounds ($1.4 billion) compared with Berkeley’s 3.9 billion-pound value.

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