Redundancies and restructuring comes as Vistry seeks £50m in synergy savings from £1.1bn merger

Vistry is to lay off around 100 staff as it seeks to find efficiencies following its £1.1bn November merger with rival Countryside, the firm’s new chief operating officer has revealed.

Earl Sibley told Housing Today that the £2.4bn turnover firm had estimated that around 4% of the combined business’s 5,000 staff - approximately 200 people - would be put on notice of redundancy as part of the integration process of the two firms, though the ultimate figure to leave the firm will be lower. A spokesperson for Vistry later clarified that around 100 people or fewer are ultimately expected to depart the business.


The redundancies come as Vistry management looks to deliver the £50m in annual “synergy” savings promised when the deal was announced back in September.

Sibley said: “The track record of integration of businesses from this management team is very strong if you look at what happened with Bovis and Linden and Galliford Try in the creation of Vistry – it was very successful. We’re looking at a £50m annual run rate of synergies.

He said the need to make the “restructuring and redundancies” was his only concern about the deal, given the impact on staff. This was because “the labour market now is not as strong as it was when we announced the merger. We’re in a more uncertain period [for the industry].”

He said: “We said we’re looking at [redundancy consultation for] around 4% of our 5,000-strong workforce, a couple of hundred people. It might end up a slightly lower number [to leave the business].”

The news comes as rival developers Telford Homes and Watkin Jones have recently revealed that they are cutting jobs in the light of the difficult economic environment.

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The Vistry announcement is not understood to be a response to the market, with Vistry’s large partnerships business – hugely expanded with the purchase of Countryside – insulating it against the drop in private reservations seen across the industry since October.

Vistry’s partnerships chief executive Stephen Teagle told Housing Today last month the firm is looking to “amplify” its growth plans post-merger, with annual compound growth of around 12% expected despite the grim economic predictions. The division has ben rebranded post-merger as Countryside Partnerships.

Vistry was this week revealed to have risen to 5th in Housing Today’s Top 50 Housebuilders tables, compiled on separate accounts filed prior to the merger being completed. The firms would together have a proforma combined turnover of £3.7bn, producing around 14,000 homes per annum.

Speaking to Housing Today for the Top 50 Housebuilders market analysis, Sibley said: “In our partnerships business we’ve got numerous relationships in those parts exactly where demand is still strong – for affordable rent, shared ownership, elderly housing. It’s going to be resilient, and it’s going to be counter-cyclical,” adding the business “remains an area of huge growth.”

He said he is “cautiously optimistic” for the housing market next year, given the “stability” coming back into the mortgage market in recent weeks, and that Vistry had not dropped private sale prices. He said the continuing strong employment market and high rents would provide a floor to the housing market. “Employment is still good, some people are getting good pay rises, while [the] renting [market] is bonkers in many parts of the country, and the undersupply of housing gets worse by the year,” he said.

Note: This story was amended 16.12.2022 when a Vistry spokesperson clarified that around 100 staff or fewer would ultimately leave the business under the restructuring process