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Lennar to Expand in Central Valley

From Bloomberg News

Lennar Corp., a Miami-based home builder that had a 30% surge in first-quarter sales, agreed Monday to buy the real estate assets of Coleman Homes in Bakersfield for an undisclosed cash price.

Coleman Homes sold more than 400 homes last year for an average price of $176,000, Lennar said.

Lennar would get sites where about 3,000 homes can be built and a backlog of 300 homes. The company has been buying smaller home builders whose profits have been crimped by rising land costs.

The purchase is Lennar’s second this year and its second of a company in California’s Central Valley, spokesman Marshall Ames said. Lennar bought Cambridge Homes of Fresno last year, one of nine acquisitions that helped boost the firm’s 2002 sales 21% to $7.3 billion.

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Lennar said it expects to complete the acquisition of Coleman’s assets this week. Coleman has been a fixture in Bakersfield and is the area’s top home builder.

Shares of Lennar on Monday rose 43 cents to $53.50 on the New York Stock Exchange. They have climbed 14% this year.


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