Last month, I attended NAHB’s midyear meeting in Miami and had the pleasure of sitting in on a presentation by Daniel Swift, president and CEO of Des Moines-based architecture group BSB Design.
Oakwood Homes Acquires Henry Walker Homes
Oakwood Homes will expand its operations in Utah.
John Stubbs, new President of Oakwood Homes Utah Division and former President of Henry Walker Homes. Photo courtesy of Oakwood Homes
Oakwood Homes founder and CEO Pat Hamill announced that the company has acquired the assets of Henry Walker Homes for continued expansion in the Utah market.
Henry Walker Homes was seeking a new capital partner with a similar organizational culture. Oakwood Homes, Colorado's largest private homebuilder, purchased Henry Walker Homes for upwards of $75 million. Värde Partners and Mountain Real Estate Capital provided the capital for this transaction. Oakwood Homes and Henry Walker Homes began discussions in September 2013 and completed the transaction on April 23, 2014.
Henry Walker Homes currently operates in Northern Colorado and Northern and Southern Utah. Oakwood Homes currently operates in the Colorado Front Range, including the Denver metro area and Colorado Springs; Omaha, Nebraska; and Northern Utah. This acquisition will mark the expansion of Oakwood Homes into Northern Utah, including Salt Lake City. Henry Walker Homes' operations in Southern Utah and Colorado will resume under a different name.
"When presented with the opportunity to acquire Henry Walker Homes, we were immediately intrigued," Hamill said. "We were expanding into Salt Lake City, and Henry Walker is already established in Utah with a solid reputation in the area. This opportunity allows us to leverage our strong capital foundation and our efficient building practices towards our vision of being the best homebuilder in America.
"We are pleased to have partnered with Värde Partners and Mountain Real Estate Capital to successfully complete this transaction. They shared our vision in capitalizing on this opportunity that will significantly expand our presence in the growing Salt Lake City metro region."
The operations in Utah will take place systemically over the next year. John Stubbs, the current president of Henry Walker Homes, will become president of Oakwood's Utah Division. Mike Stewart will lead the integration team. Over the next year, Jason Chisholm will be vice president of operations, and James Doolin will be vice president of land acquisition. Stubbs will partner with the integration team to ensure that the process and systems are successfully integrated over the next year.
"The talent of the Utah team is unmatched," Stubbs said. "The team's total experience in the Utah market spans decades, and Utah homebuyers can trust they will be buying top-quality homes from a company who is dedicated to the growth of the community."
Oakwood Homes closed 436 homes in 2013, and with this acquisition, have set a goal to close more than 1,100 homes in 2014. If Oakwood achieves the 2014 goal, it would make the company the 33rd largest homebuilder in the country and third largest in the entire Midwest.
Currently, Oakwood Homes employs 151 people, and Henry Walker Homes has 78 employees. The majority of associates are expected to remain in their current roles.
JMP Securities served as exclusive financial adviser to Henry Walker Homes in connection with the transaction.