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LONDON-Persimmon has secured the approval of the board of Westbury for a euro 940-million ($1.1-billion) takeover. The deal would create a firm expected to complete roughly 16,700 houses across England, Scotland and Wales in 2006. This would put Persimmon ahead of Britain’s current largest homebuilder by sales volume, Barratt Developments.

This isn’t the first buyout for Persimmon, which has integrated Beazer following a euro 819-million ($965-million) takeover in 2001. Westbury became vulnerable to a takeover bid after reporting a 26% drop in half-year profits toward the end of last month. Like several homebuilders, Westbury has been spending more on marketing and offering larger incentives at a time of rising labor and raw-material costs.

Westbury’s business “is an excellent geographical and product fit for Persimmon,” comments John White, Persimmon’s chief executive. “It will be integrated quickly into our existing regions and business, and elevate the output of our Charles Church brand.”

The deal is priced at 560p per share, in line with expectations when it emerged earlier this month that the two companies were discussing a merger. And it is expected to push Persimmon into the FTSE 100 index of the UK’s largest quoted companies once the takeover is completed.

Persimmon executives say that trading since the release of its interim results on August 23 had been in line with its expectations, with weekly sales volumes up around 20% over the same period last year and selling prices holding steady.

Homebuilders throughout the UK have seen profits squeezed this year as the market boom slows, sparking speculation that there will be increased consolidation.

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