September 7, 2017 / 4:27 PM / 10 months ago

UK builder Bovis to reduce land bank as part of turnaround

LONDON (Reuters) - British builder Bovis (BVS.L), which has been subject to two failed takeover bids, will reduce its land bank by putting half of the plots at two of its biggest sites into a joint venture with a partner as part of a turnaround, its CEO said.

Greg Fitzgerald, CEO of Bovis, poses for a portrait during an interview with Reuters at offices in London, September 7, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville

The builder will also pay subcontractors more quickly and up its rates for some as part of efforts to revive the ailing firm.

Bovis said it would downsize two of its biggest sites - in the central English town of Wellingborough and the southern area of Sherford - by putting half of the plots of land into a joint venture with a partner, reducing its land bank, generally a builder’s biggest cost.

Greg Fitzgerald, who has cut headcount and reduced volume targets, said the sites - which had been bought by the previous management - were too big for the firm.

“We’ll take our land bank down by about 1,600 plots... so that will in one fell swoop deal with those two very, very large sites,” he said.

Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by Kate Holton

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