Lennar to buy WCI for $643 million

"WCI's land portfolio dovetails perfectly with our own Florida footprint and expands our product offering to capture more of the move-up market", Lennar Chief Executive Stuart Miller said. Check back for updates. UBS estimated Florida accounted for about 30 percent of Lennar's home closings in 2015.The housing market in Florida has improved the most since a year ago and the state also accounted for four of the top five most improved metro areas, including Orlando and Tampa, Freddie Mac said in a report in July. During the 12 months ended June 30, 2016, WCI delivered 1,118 homes with an average sales price of $444,000.

Miami-based Lennar Corp. will acquire Bonita Springs-based WCI into a newly formed Lennar subsidiary, the company announced on Thursday.

The agreement includes a 35-day "go-shop" provision that will allow WCI to seek out potentially superior proposals to maximize value for WCI stockholders, WCI said in a separate announcement. It will be half in cash and half in Lennar stock. A vote is expected to occur in December or January. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news. Best known for its affordable retirement homes, Lennar becomes a stronger player in the luxury home market with the acquisition.

At 1210 BST, WCI shares were up 37% to $23.50 in pre-market trade.

The move is a power play among two of the country's largest home builders. Lennar's Financial Services segment provides mortgage financing, title insurance and closing services for both buyers of the Company's homes and others. Lennar's Multifamily segment is a nationwide developer of high-quality multifamily rental properties.

  • Anthony Vega