Former Persimmon boss Jeff Fairburn leads acquisition of Avant Homes

Former Persimmon boss Jeff Fairburn leads acquisition of Avant Homes

Jeff Fairburn

Avant Homes has been acquired by a small housebuilder run by former Persimmon chief executive Jeff Fairburn and backed by US hedge fund Elliott Advisors.

Berkeley DeVeer, which currently operates across Yorkshire and the North East of England, completed a deal to buy Avant Homes Group this week.

Jeff Fairburn was chief executive of Persimmon until November 2018 when he was ousted amid a shareholder revolt led by Aberdeen Standard Investments against his £75 million bonus award. He has been CEO and 50% shareholder of Berkeley DeVeer for the last year.

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. 

Under its new ownership, Avant Homes will continue to be led by the existing management team. As previously planned, chief operating officer Mark Mitchell will become chief executive on May 1, replacing Colin Lewis, who will become non-executive deputy chairman. Jeff Fairburn, who has been in charge of Berkeley DeVeer for a year, will become chairman of Avant Homes.

Jeff Fairbun 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 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.”

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