Scottish merchant banker Sir Angus Grossart last night flagged his view that the housebuilding sector would be underpinned over time by a shortage of supply, following his investment of a further £1 million in Springfield Properties.

The investment has nearly doubled his stake in the Elgin-based housebuilder.

Sir Angus’s purchase of 1,058,202 shares, at 94.5p each, takes his stake in Springfield to 2.41 per cent. He now owns 2,362,400 shares in the company, following this £1m acquisition of shares from The Adam Settlement Trust, a trust in which Springfield executive chairman Sandy Adam is interested.

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Asked by The Herald about his reasons for raising his stake, Sir Angus said: “I took the view this was strategic long-term investment.”

Sir Angus, chairman of Edinburgh merchant bank Noble Grossart, added: “It is a sector which will be underpinned by the shortage of supply for houses and over time that will be supportive of the sector, and I think this is a company that has a good management so it is well-placed to take advantage of the recovery in activity in the housebuilding sector but that will take time. I am not in a hurry.”

Springfield said yesterday that The Adam Settlement Trust had also transferred 2,560,000 ordinary shares to members of Mr Adam’s family. It added that, following the transactions, Mr Adam holds 40,990,120 ordinary shares, representing approximately 41.9% of the issued share capital of the company. Springfield noted this “includes the holdings of Anne Adam, and The Adam Settlement Trust of which Sandy Adam’s sons are beneficiaries.”.

Shares in Springfield dipped 0.5p to 96p yesterday. The shares fell sharply in late February and into March amid the developing coronavirus crisis but have since staged a partial recovery from their worst levels.

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In an update regarding Covid-19 on April 27, Springfield said it had agreed an additional £18 million, 12-month, term loan facility with Bank of Scotland. It noted this increased the total credit facility to £85m.

Chief executive Innes Smith said then: “While the impact of the disruption is still unknown, Scotland will continue to need more good quality housing to address its housing shortage and I believe that Springfield is in a very strong position to meet this demand.”