London Bay Homes Obtains $17.35 Million In New Capital

Homebuilder is positioning itself to grow as the market returns

February 12, 2009

Naples-based London Bay Homes can count itself among an elite group of home builders who have succeeded in obtaining capital in an economic environment where cash is hard to come by. The company just obtained $17.35 million in investment capital as an unnamed investor came forward to purchase a minority 20 percent interest in the company.
President Mark Wilson said the majority of the capital will be directed to growth opportunities throughout Southwest Florida ranging from Naples to Sarasota. “We are very gratified to welcome a new partner into London Bay,” he said. “This individual is a very sophisticated investor who is quite familiar with our company and he demonstrated his confidence in our business plan with a substantial investment interest in the company. This not only solidifies our balance sheet, but also provides us with the capital necessary to take advantage of new business opportunities that certainly will arise from this real estate market,” he added.
London Bay has operated in Naples since 1990 when Mark and Gemma Wilson founded the company. It has focused its home building operations on the custom home market, but has expanded its product offering to include semi-custom homes, lifestyle condominiums, and small village developments in some of the area’s high-end communities such as The Estuary, Mediterra and Miromar Lakes. Its semi-custom homes are priced from $900,000; its Village Homes are priced from $800,000; its Lifestyle Condominiums begin under $600,000.
“As a privately held company, we are able to operate with a longer-term business philosophy and manage our debt to levels that are appropriate for our industry,” Wilson said.
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“It’s also very reassuring to our clients that we have been able to maintain a strong relationship with our investors and our banks throughout this downturn. Now it’s time for us to find the right growth opportunity,” he said.
Wilson did not cite any specific or short-term opportunities he may be pursuing, but the company did recently expand its operations at Lakewood Ranch in Sarasota, and Wilson has previously stated his interest in that market.
London Bay is coming off a successful 2008 when it won the prestigious America’s Best Builder awards from the publishers of Builder magazine. That award recognized companies that excel in all aspects of the home building business including design, construction, customer service and financial management.
According to Wilson, surviving in the current economy can provide its share of challenges, but he says builders must be students of the market and willing to make some difficult choices to succeed. “I think we are good planners at London Bay and we will make the hard decisions when necessary. You have to take control of your business and not let the economy manage it for you,” he said.
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Contact: Ken Plonski, London Bay Homes
239-449-1514
kenplonski@londonbay.com

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