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ATLANTA-Beazer Homes USA, one of the 10 largest homebuilders in the country, has signed a definitive agreement to buy Sanford Homes of Colorado, a 40-year-old, Denver-based firm, for $65 million. The deal with Denver’s third largest builder closes in August.

Besides its single-family and townhomes portfolio, Beazer provides mortgage origination, title and insurance services to its homebuyers.

Publicly traded Beazer, based in Atlanta, plans to use its common stock to pay for up to 20% of the purchase price. The $64 million price includes the repayment of Sanford debt and payments for the firm’s net assets and equity. Sanford has been a Denver-area builder since 1961.

Charles H. “Tim” Sanford, Sanford Homes’ CEO, becomes a senior advisor to Beazer after the deal closes. “In this role, I expect to help Beazer maintain the broker relationships that have been so important to Sanford’s success and identify land acquisition opportunities to help them grow the business further,” Sanford says in a prepared statement from Beazer.

In that statement, David S. Weiss, Beazer’s executive vice president and chief financial officer, calls the acquisition “an extremely attractive opportunity” for his company because the purchase price represents “approximately five times the expected earnings before interest and taxes in the next year.”

Sanford Homes currently owns or controls through option contracts about 1,600 buildable lots in prime locations in metro Denver.

“These will provide the platform for future growth,” Weiss says. “We expect the Sanford acquisition to be accretive within its first year, adding more than 30 cents to our earnings per share in fiscal 2002 after taking into account estimated purchase accounting adjustments.”

Sanford Homes, one of Colorado’s oldest homebuilding companies, is active in 12 communities. Among them are Arapahoe County, Parker, Douglas County, north of Castle Pines North, Highlands Ranch, Fort Collins, Westminister and Windsor.

Besides Georgia, Beazer is active in Florida, Arizona, California, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, North and South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

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