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Carolina Firm Buys O.C. Manufacturer : Housing: Eastern housing maker buys Golden West Homes of Santa Ana to gain Western foothold.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

A North Carolina maker of manufactured housing said Friday that it has bought Golden West Homes of Santa Ana in a deal currently worth $17.4 million.

Oakwood Homes Corp. of Greensboro, N.C., said it bought privately held Golden West in a bid to expand its market in the West.

Golden West operates manufactured housing plants in Perris, Sacramento and Albany, Ore.

Oakwood said it will issue 700,000 shares of common stock, equal to about 3.4% of its outstanding shares to buy Golden West.

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Oakwood’s stock closed Friday at $24.87, down 13 cents, in trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

The actual sales price of Golden West will depend on the trading price of Oakwood shares when the deal closes, which is expected at the end of September.

The deal is subject to approval by Golden West’s shareholders.

Golden West’s work force of 750--430 of them in California--and its management team led by President Harry E. Karsten Jr. are expected to remain in place under the acquisition, becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary of Oakwood.

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“It will fit very well into our long-term strategic plan which is to establish a presence on the West Coast,” said Oakwood Vice President C. Michael Kilbourne. “We always intended to be in that market. When Golden West became available, that accelerated our entry by at least two years.”

Oakwood expects to build about 12,000 manufactured homes this year in the South, parts of the Midwest and as far west as Arizona, he said.

Golden West expects to build about 5,000 homes, less than half of them in California.

Combined, the two firms will be building far fewer than industry leader Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. of Riverside, which plans to build upward of 70,000.

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