Ryland Group to Buy Brock

Times Staff Writer

Ryland Group, a large nationwide home builder, has announced an agreement to buy M. J. Brock Corp., the old-line Southern California builder and general contractor that used to be a subsidiary of Cigna Corp., for $85 million in cash and securities.

M. J. Brock, founded in Los Angeles 64 years ago by M. J. Brock Sr., builds medium-priced ($130,000 on average) homes in Southern California, Sacramento and Denver. The firm sold 802 homes last year, generating revenue of $115 million.

Officials at M. J. Brock were unavailable to explain why the company is being sold again.

Earlier this year, Brock's management purchased the company from Cigna for $80 million. Cigna is one of the nation's largest insurance companies.

Ryland Chief Executive C. E. Peck said in a statement that the sale will move his company into the "large and growing West Coast home building markets."

Ryland, based in Columbia, Md., sold almost 6,400 homes last year, with sales totaling nearly $500 million. Ryland presently builds homes in the Midwest, Southwest and along the East Coast from New Jersey to Florida.

Ryland said the purchase is subject to a "number of conditions," including approval by its board of directors. Terms of the sale call for Ryland to buy Brock with $60 million in cash and $25 million in new convertible subordinated debentures.

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