Palatine achieves over 3x return and 96% IRR on Westleigh exit


Palatine Private Equity has completed the successful sale of Westleigh to Countryside Properties Plc, achieving over a 3x return and 96% IRR within less than two years of making the original investment.

Westleigh is the largest independent housebuilder in the Midlands that focuses on the delivery of affordable homes to Registered Providers (RPs). Palatine originally invested in Westleigh in July 2016 and it was the private equity firm’s first investment from the Midlands office.

Founded in 1985, by husband and wife Chris and Judy Beighton, Westleigh has experienced significant growth since Palatine invested, increasing EBITDA from £9m in the financial year to 31 March 2016 to over £16m in the financial year to 31 March 2018. The company currently employs around 450 staff, builds over 1,100 properties per year and has successfully expanded geographically from the East Midlands into both the West Midlands and South Yorkshire.

Westleigh will now be supported by Countyside Properties Plc who are looking to increase their market share in the Midlands.

Palatine Managing Partner Gary Tipper, Investment Director Richard Thomas and Investment Manager James Painter transacted the original investment in 2016 and have since worked closely with the team to grow the business and expand its regional footprint.

Richard Thomas, Head of Midlands at Palatine Private Equity and former board director at Westleigh, said: “It’s been a pleasure working with the team at Westleigh and we wish them every success as they start a new chapter in Westleigh’s development. Westleigh has been a great example of private equity backing an excellent and ambitious management team, working together to not only grow the business quickly but also improve it on all fronts. We are confident that the business will continue to thrive under Countryside’s ownership”

Chris Beighton, Chairman at Westleigh, added: “Westleighs’ experience having Palatine as our investor partner has been nothing other than positive. Palatine have supported managements ambitious expansion plans for growth. While always remaining diligent, Palatine have allowed management to run the business and progress matters without clunky time consuming approval processes that would have removed the business’s ability to be reactive to opportunities which give it the edge over its competitors. I would on behalf of the board and the business like to thank Palatine for their support”.