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Well, this is a funny switcheroo.

Bovis Homes has rejected the takeover approach from Galliford Try, but still snapped up Greg Fitzgerald, the would-be suitor’s former CEO for almost a decade to 2014.

In a statement, Bovis said the offer from Galliford came in too cheaply. “Accordingly,” it says, “the Board has decided to reject the proposal as it believes that an independent strategy under the leadership of Greg Fitzgerald will deliver greater value for shareholders.”

Mr Fitzgerald, who spent over 30 years at Galliford, initially as a 17-year-old tea boy, will become chief executive at Bovis from April 18 after the previous chief stepped down earlier this year. At the time of his retirement from Galliford, he was described as “one of the top two or three CEOs in the housebuilding sector”.

Bovis says:

During his time as Chief Executive, he oversaw the transformation of Galliford, increasing the scale of the housebuilding business and improving profitability.

Looking beyond the potential Galliford tie-up, it adds:

Current sales and reservations are in line with the Board’s expectations and we are making good progress with our priorities for 2017. Operational processes and controls have been fundamentally reviewed with improvements and standardisation implemented across all regions.

Shares in the two companies opened with little change on Wednesday.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.
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