Jonathan Chancellor | 16 November 2012

Peter Campbell does a Packer and buys back the property empire

Peter Campbell's Lindsay Bennelong Developments has finalised an agreement to purchase the Clarendon Group, an acquisition that will return the residential building company to its founder.

In the interim Lindsay Bennelong Developments got its own major projects underway, including developing the $400 million Gore Hill business precinct and $390 million Advanx precinct at Rushcutters Bay, both in Sydney.

Clarendon Homes was founded by Peter Campbell in 1978, diversifying the business before selling it as an integrated residential building and development company to Investa Property Group in 2004.

In 2007 Investa Property Group was taken over by two Morgan Stanley real estate funds, with Clarendon Homes positioned under the direction of Morgan Stanley.

The company was separated from the Investa group of companies in 2009 so that it could operate as a stand-alone home building company. 

The transaction comprises the purchase of 100% of the shares in Clarendon Residential Holdings and its subsidiaries, including Clarendon Homes New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria for an undisclosed sum. Settlement of the transaction is scheduled to take place in late-November 2012.

Lindsay Bennelong will assume all past and present liabilities for Clarendon Homes, including the performance of all warranty works.

"While there is an element of sentimentality about the purchase, this was above all a prudent business decision," Campbell says.

"By acquiring a business with scale and an existing pipeline, we will be well placed to take advantage of improving economic conditions when they eventuate," he says.

Maurice Felizzi, the Clarendon Group chief executive, welcomed the change of ownership.

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