Urban Splash Factory
Sekisui has acquired a 35% stake in Urban Splash's modular business

Splash unveils £90m deal with Sekisui and Homes England

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Nicholas Fearn

Japanese housebuilder Sekisui is to make its foray into the UK housing market after striking a £90m deal with Urban Splash’s modular home business.

The deal has seen Sekisui acquire a 35% stake in Urban Splash, with Splash also receiving £30m of investment from Homes England.

Sekisui confirmed it has invested £22m of new equity into Splash, with a further £30m of equity and debt funding from the UK Government’s Home Building Fund, £35m of equity demerged from the wider Urban Splash Group and around £3m from We Buy Any Car founder Noel McKee.

Through his investment, McKee has taken a 5% stake in the new partnership. The deal was advised by JLL and Eversheds Sutherland.

Yoshihiro Nakai, president and representative director of Sekisui House, said: “Using modern methods of construction to build high quality homes with short build times is one of our company’s great strengths. Our technology and know-how can help resolve pressing social issues in the UK, and I want to see us play our part effective immediately.

“These operations can also help bring vitality to UK regions, and we will work to make the strongest connections with the local communities.”

Headquartered in Osaka, Sekisui House positions itself as a pioneer of modern methods of construction whereby homes are built in factories and shipped out to sites.

Urban Splash runs a similar operation, creating a range of modular and architect-designed homes. These are built in a factory and then delivered to sites across the country, forming smart new streets and neighbourhoods.

It operates as a newly established business alongside the Urban Splash Group, which was founded in 1993 by Chairman Tom Bloxham MBE and Creative Director Jonathan Falkingham MBE. To date, the group has created over 4,000 homes and invested over £1bn in development.

Tom Bloxham MBE, chairman of Urban Splash, said:  “We believe that there is a real opportunity in the UK housebuilding industry.

“We hope to leverage our 25 years of place-making experience and our recent investments into modular housing by bringing in new partners.

“Having looked far and wide we chose Sekisui House from Japan because of the company’s unrivalled global experience in modular construction and shared values and philosophy that we are making homes not units, and a joint belief in the need for a green future.”

The deal is widely expected to result in thousands of new homes across England, all of which will be built using modern methods of construction.

Minister of State for Housing Kit Malthouse MP added: “Sekisui House bring with them a proven track record in harnessing the modern methods of construction that are transforming home building.

“Backed by Government investment, today’s announcement will support our urgent mission to deliver more, better and faster home construction to ensure a new generation can realise the dream of home ownership.”

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