Homes in Scotland: Stewart Milne hoists ‘for sale’ sign on company he founded in 1975

Stewart Milne has hoisted the ‘for sale’ sign on his eponymous home-building group, after deciding to retire nearly half a century after founding the Aberdeen-based company.

Mr Milne, executive chairman of the homebuilder, said: ‘The unprecedented events of the past two years have forced many to re-evaluate and after considerable soul-searching I have decided that now is the time to take a step back. . company I started to prioritize my time for family, friends, and other projects I want to pursue. »

The company, founded in 1975, is 100% owned by Mr. Milne, who owns 80%, and his three eldest sons, Gary, Mike and David.

Mr Milne, in the construction business, has over the decades become a leading figure in the UK construction industry. He is a former longtime chairman of Aberdeen Football Club.

Stewart Milne Group said that to achieve its growth ambitions, “significant investment is required, particularly in [the] strategic land reserve to create future high-margin development opportunities”.

He said: “The group board has carefully considered all options with its advisers and has reached the unanimous conclusion to investigate a potential sale.”

The company added that accountancy firm Ernst & Young had been appointed “as the group’s financial advisor in this process”.

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The Stewart Milne Group recently sold its timber framing business to the Fife-based Donaldson Group to focus on building homes in its main markets in Scotland and the North West of England.

He said he had “taken significant steps to improve efficiency and profitability to reposition the business for future growth.”

The company added that it had achieved one of its “best” financial performances in the year ending October 31, 2021, saying: “These accounts will show a dramatic increase in revenue and profits from by a strong demand for … family homes.”

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An electrician by trade, gaining a City & Guilds qualification in electrical engineering in 1971, Mr Milne started out specializing in refurbishing flats in Aberdeen. Stewart Milne Group noted that its chairman had by this stage been determined to reduce the normal three-month disruption for owners to three days, and had “achieved this through the adoption of a systematic team approach”.

He added: ‘When the company started building houses in the mid-1970s, they took a similar approach using timber systems, and timber framing has been at the heart of the business ever since. . Indeed, Stewart Milne Group was one of the main pioneers of modern methods of building and off-site construction using timber systems.

Stewart Milne Group has offices in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester. It employs around 1,000 people, including subcontractors.

Stuart MacGregor, Managing Director of Stewart Milne Group, said: “We expect to attract a high level of interest from potential buyers who will invest in order to capitalize on the strength of our business and the dynamism of the current property market. . We have one of the strongest sales pipelines in our history and expect to generate significant sales over the next two years.