Rok adds Richardson to growing stable

Rok, the self-styled 'nation's local builder', has bought Rochdale-based social housing specialist Richardson Projects for £40.5m.

Alan Richardson and his family own 97% of the firm, created in 1983, which operates across the North of England covering Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cheshire, Merseyside, North Derbyshire and Yorkshire.

Richardson specialises in new build and refurbishment for the social housing sector under long-term framework agreements. Richardson has offices in Rochdale and Leeds and employs over 350 staff of which some 180 are skilled trades people. The business will become part of Rok's Northern operations.

Founder and chairman Alan Richardson will remain with the business for a minimum of six months to oversee the transition into Rok. Managing director, Clive Walker and senior managers, Stuart Bellfield, Derek Gooch and Jenny Kovaks will remain with the business in their present roles for at least two years.

Rok employs 700 staff in the North West and last year bought Avonside Services in Leigh.

In the year ended 31 August 2007 Richardson reported pre-tax profits of £4.2m, of which £0.6m related to the private housing development division. Gross assets were £24.2m of which £11.5m related to the private housing development division. Net assets of Richardson at completion are expected to be £14.0m.

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