Ex-Persimmon CEO returns to big time in Avant deal

Jeff Fairburn

Jeff Fairburn, the former chief executive of Persimmon who left the York-based housebuilder following criticism of his £75 million pay package, has returned to the big time in the UK housebuilding industry.

Wetherby-based private developer Berkeley DeVeer, where Fairburn has been CEO and a major shareholder for over a year, has partnered with Elliott Advisors (UK) Limited to acquire Chesterfield-based Avant Homes Group Ltd.

Fairburn will become chairman of Avant Homes.

“Avant Homes operates in high growth markets in the North of England and Scotland,” said Berkeley DeVeer.

“Avant Homes currently has 60 live developments being delivered across five regions in the Midlands, Yorkshire, North East England and Scotland.

“It currently delivers approximately 2,000 homes each year, has a turnover of circa £500m and employs around 780 people.”

Berkeley DeVeer currently operates across Yorkshire and the North East of England.

“Under its new ownership, Avant Homes will continue to be led by the existing management team,” added Berkeley DeVeer.

“As previously announced, COO Mark Mitchell will become CEO on May 1, replacing Colin Lewis, who will become Non Executive Deputy Chairman.”

Fairburn said: “Avant Homes is a fantastic business, with a strong proposition and a compelling track record of growth.

“It has a high quality management team that has transformed the business, with an unrivalled focus on building design-led homes in the UK housing market’s fastest growing regions.

“We look forward to working with the team to further invest in the business and develop it into one of the UK’s leading housebuilders.”