THE historic Scottish housebuilding business of Mactaggart & Mickel Group has been acquired by peer Springfield Properties in a deal worth nearly £50 million.

In a transaction that marks the end of an era for the near 100-year-old MacMic, Highlands-based Springfield will pay an initial £10.5m on completion of the acquisition. A deferred cash consideration of £35.8m to be paid proportionally as homes are sold over the next five years.

The deal sees Springfield acquire from Mactaggart & Mickel six live private and affordable sites with work in progress, with a fair value of approximately £15m and fixed assets.

Springfield has also acquired a brand licence to build homes as Mactaggart & Mickel on a further 11 private and affordable sites, which will transfer to Springfield as homes are sold in line with the payments of the deferred consideration. The total 17 sites, of which 16 have planning permission and equate to the delivery of around 700 homes, have a gross development value of about £230m, Springfield told the stock market this morning.

The deal includes a timber frame factory near Glasgow, and the companies have established a strategic alliance with an agreement that gives Springfield opportunities for future acquisitions of sites from Mactaggart & Mickel’s remaining land bank of approximately 2,300 acres across Scotland.

The acquisition is the latest in a series of deals Springfield has completed in recent years as it has broken out of its Highland heartland and into the central belt.

Chief executive Innes Smith said: "We are very pleased to welcome Mactaggart & Mickel’s Scottish housebuilding business into the Springfield Group. As well as bringing another premium brand into the group, this acquisition gives us land, with planning permission, in areas of significant demand. The structure of the acquisition – with the majority of the payment to be made as homes are completed – de-risks the deal and creates an effective and efficient means of acquiring land.

“The addition of a timber frame facility in the Central Belt, alongside our existing facility in Elgin, secures our supply of timber kits and provides further capacity to support our next stage of growth. It will also reduce our carbon footprint by enabling local manufacture of all kits.

“We welcome our new colleagues to the Group and look forward to working together to continue delivering high-quality homes across Scotland.”

All employees working on Mactaggart & Mickel development sites and in the timber frames business will transfer to Springfield, though there will be a key change at the top. Mactaggart & Mickel’s long-serving chief executive Ed Monaghan, who has worked for the company for more than 40 years, will retire as chief executive in October. Finance director Paul McAninch will succeed him.

Mr McAninch said: “We welcome this agreement with Springfield, which we believe provides a strong platform for growth for both parties.

“Our company has had a proud tradition as a leading housebuilder in Scotland, which is built on the work of its dedicated teams.

“This tradition will continue, and I’m pleased that there will be continuity of employment as a result of this agreement. I’d like to thank all our staff for their dedication over the years as we look to our second century as a successful business. I’d also like to wish transferring colleagues every success for their future.”