D.R. Horton to Announce Purchase of Crown Communities

by Jeff Lobb

D.R. Horton is close to announcing the completion of its plan to purchase Crown Communities, the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell metro area’s No. 1 builder in unit volume. The purchase of Crown would more than double Horton’s market share to just below 15% in a recovering Atlanta market.

Executives familiar with the transaction confirmed that the deal’s closing and announcement are imminent, possibly within the next week. The executives say that Crown’s CEO Francis Downey will maintain his position and the company will operate as an “owned but separate” business for the time being.

In reporting earnings last week, D.R. Horton announced the launch of Express Homes, a new line of homes targeted towards first-time buyers. This new line is just one way in which the company is adopting a market share strategy as incremental unit volume gains become necessary for growth in the recovering housing market.

Crown Communities, a privately-held company operating in Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama, achieved a Builder 100 ranking of 28 in the upcoming 2013 special report on the nation’s 200 largest home builders by volume. The company reported revenue of $370 million on closings of 1,540 units in 2013 and is the No. 1 builder in Atlanta.

The acquisition of Crown will give Horton further geographical reach in the Atlanta metro area, as it is currently well represented in the North Atlanta counties, but not in the southern counties where Crown is more prominent.

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