Agreement reached in Persimmon and Westbury deal

Persimmon has reached a deal which will see it take over rival building firm Westbury to create the UKs biggest homenuider.

Under the terms of the offer Westbury shareholders will be entitled to receive 5.60 in cash for each Westbury share. On this basis the terms of the offer value the existing issued share capital of Westbury at approximately 643m.

Westbury shareholders will be entitled to receive the interim dividend of 6.1525 pence per Westbury share announced on October 25 2005 and payable on January 5 2006 to Westbury shareholders that are on the register on December 2 2005.

The Westbury board which has been advised by Merrill Lynch, believe the terms of the offer to be fir and reasonable. In providing its advice Merrill Lynch has taken into account the commercial assessments of the Westbury board. The board intend to recommend shareholders to accept the offer.

Duncan Davidson, chairman of Persimmon, says: We are delighted to announce this agreed offer for Westbury today. Westbury is an attractive business that will benefit from Persimmons track record for integrating acquisitions and operational excellence. The acquisition will consolidate Persimmons position as the leading UK housebuilder and we look forward to welcoming the customers and employees of Westbury to the Persimmon Group.

John White, chief executive of Persimmon, says: The Westbury business is an excellent geographical and product fit for Persimmon. It will be integrated quickly into our existing regions and businesses, and elevates the output of our Charles Church brand. We are confident of capturing significant synergies and additional operational benefits to create value for Persimmon shareholders.

Geoffrey Maddrell, chairman of Westbury, says: With its progressive strategy strong land bank and innovative product range, Westbury has maintained a reputation over the past ten years as one of the leading UK housebuilders. We have excellent management and an especially positive and supportive employee complement, who have delivered significant value for shareholders over many years.

Notwithstanding this achievement, Persimmons proposal offers our shareholders definitive value, at a substantial premium to net asset value which the Westbury board believes is in the best interests of shareholders to accept.