Giant private equity firm buys £194m-turnover housebuilder in latest move into UK housing market

Private equity investment firm Terra Firma has acquired east-Anglia-based housebuilder Hopkin Homes for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition is the latest move by the firm into UK housebuilding following its purchase last year of Kier’s housing business for £110m. The company, which was founded by billionaire investor Guy Hands and is now one of Europe’s largest private equity firms, was also linked with Keepmoat before the latter’s eventual sale to Aermont.

Hopkins Homes, which last year made a profit of £34.5m on turnover of £194.3m, will continue to be run by current group managing director Lee Bernard.

Hopkins completed 717 homes in the year ending 30 April 2021, up from 677 year-on-year despite the pandemic. The company, based in Woodbridge, Suffolk, says it focuses on “sensitivity to the unique local character of each location” in its housing developments.

James Hopkins, founder and executive chairman of Hopkins Homes, said: “Since founding the business, our mission has always been to deliver high-quality housing that sits at the heart of communities, whilst preserving the character of East Anglia for generations to come. I have every confidence that under Terra Firma’s stewardship and the continued leadership of Lee Barnard, Hopkins Homes will continue to go from strength to strength.”

Since 1994, Terra Firma has invested more than €18bn of equity in 39 businesses.  

Vivek Ahuja, chief executive of Terra Firma, said: “We are incredibly pleased to welcome Hopkins Homes into the Terra Firma family.

“As a regional housebuilder, it is recognised for its strong business and brand, and I greatly look forward to working with Lee and the team to drive the next phase of Hopkins Homes’ success, building on the impressive legacy that James leaves behind.”