Taylor Woodrow


Taylor Woodrow

Infobox Company
company_name = Taylor Woodrow Holdings Limited
company_
company_type = Private
foundation = 1921
location = London, UK
key_people = Norman Askew, Chairman
Ian Smith, CEO
industry = Housebuilding
products =
revenue = £3,572.1 million (2006)
operating_income = £469.8 million (2006)
net_income = £290.6 million (2006)
num_employees = 8,132 (2005)
parent = Taylor Wimpey plc
subsid =
homepage = [http://www.taylorwimpey.com/Home/TWConstruction www.taylorwoodrow.com]
footnotes =

Taylor Woodrow Holdings Limited is one of the largest British based housebuilding and general construction companies. Its corporate headquarters are in London and its UK construction headquarters are in Watford.

The company merged with rival George Wimpey to create Taylor Wimpey on 3 July 2007.

History

The company was founded in 1921 by 16-year old Frank Taylor, who borrowed some money to build two houses in Blackpool. As he was too young to form his own company, his uncle Jack Woodrow lent his name to the business, initially "Taylor & Woodrow", which later became "Taylor Woodrow Limited".

In the 1930s, Taylor Woodrow diversified into building temporary hospitals etc, and thereby moved into general construction. This is a business philosophy which has remained with Taylor Woodrow today.

Between 1945 and 2001 Taylor Woodrow's main operations were in general construction with Taylor Woodrow Homes only being a small part of the Group.

'Teamwork' logo and statue

Recognising the need for Taylor Woodrow to have a bold and distinctive corporate identity symbol, Frank Taylor decided to hold a competition - encouraging all his employees to enter and use their imagination to create a symbol which would enable Taylor Woodrow to be recognised. In the end, a foreman won, with the creation of what was effectively four strong men having a tug of war (with the other end of the tug of war not being shown). Some people have nick-named the logo 'the four men pulling on the rope'. The original incarnation used until 2001, was a red two-dimensional symbol, with blue script in bold capital letters beneath the symbol.

In 1956 David Wynne was appointed to construct a statue depiction of the 'Teamwork' device: this initially proved controversial as the men on the statue were shown naked. It was placed outside Taylor Woodrow's head office in Northolt, Middlesex.

In January 2001, following the acquisition of Bryant Homes, the Taylor Woodrow management decided to review the corporate identity. They appointed Barrett Howe, a marketing agency, to update the logo and make it three-dimensional. The result is shown in the box at the top of this article.

In February 2006 the 'Teamwork' statue was moved to the new head office in Solihull.

UK housebuilding

From 1921 to the early 1990s Taylor Woodrow marketed its housebuilding operations under the eponymous name of 'Taylor Woodrow Homes'. In the early 1990s, the housebuilding operations were re-branded as 'Taywood Homes', and that brand continued until 2001.

In January 2001 Taylor Woodrow acquired Bryant Group, a business founded in Birmingham in 1885 by Chris Bryant, for £556 million [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/1130323.stm Taylor Woodrow buys up Bryant] ] : the combined housing operations were initially branded 'Bryant Homes - A Taylor Woodrow Company' and subsequently 'Bryant Homes - by Taylor Woodrow'.

In October 2003 Taylor Woodrow acquired Wilson Connolly in a cash and shares deal worth £499 million: the business, which had previously traded as 'Wilcon Homes', was also re-branded 'Bryant Homes - by Taylor Woodrow'.

Following the merger with George Wimpey, the 'by Taylor Woodrow' suffix has been dropped, and the operations now trade as 'Bryant Homes'.

Taylor Woodrow Construction

Over the years, the construction division, Taylor Woodrow Construction has undertaken a number of landmark projects including airports, cathedrals, football stadia, railway tunnels and roads. It has also built Tesco supermarkets.

Taylor Woodrow has also undertaken projects under the Private Finance Initiative including schools, and more recently, hospitals, until July 2007. It also provides facilities management and specialist engineering consultancy services.

North American operations

In 1936 Taylor Woodrow entered the Canadian construction market through the acquisition of Monarch Development Corporation, founded in 1917, and now one of Canada’s oldest, largest and most diversified real estate companies.

In 1953 the company purchased a controlling interest in a newly established business, Monarch Mortgage and Investments Limited, which owned land, apartment complexes, stores, and houses in the Toronto area.

Monarch's primary focus today is on residential development and construction, including master-planned communities featuring single family homes and townhomes. In 1994 Monarch entered into the high-rise sector. It mainly trades in the Ontario area under the name 'Monarch-by Taylor Woodrow' with the strapline 'Inspired by you'.

Taylor Woodrow also has substantial house building operations in certain parts of the USA. These operations are marketed under the brand 'Taylor Woodrow' with the strapline 'Inspired by you', and estates can be found in California, Arizona, Texas, and Florida.

The company has also made acquisitions in North America: Sandbury Homes in Ontario and Journey Homes in Arizona.

A large number of employees have been dismissed throughout the United States, primarily in Florida. This was due to the drop in housing sales and closings during FY 2006 and FY 2007.

Head Offices

Although Taylor Woodrow's UK operations were traditionally based in the North, Frank Taylor always wanted his operations run from London.

Frank Taylor first hired a small office in London, but realising the need to expand, he purchased 100 acres of land on the Grand Union Canal at Northolt in Middlesex and in 1954 built his new headquarters, a 'state-of-the-art' square-shaped office block there; the offices were designed so that they could be converted into houses if extra funds were needed. It included a quadrangle containing a car park in the middle. The site also benefited from a construction yard used to house machinery, a sports centre for staff and their friends, a garage to service company cars, and playing fields for staff to enjoy after work if they so wished.

Following the acquisition of Bryant, which had their Head Office in Solihull in the West Midlands, the combined operations were initially based in Northolt but in 2002 they moved up to Solihull. Although the decision proved inconvenient for some staff, it was welcomed by most, as by then the Northolt building was very run down, with broken windows, malfunctioning heating, and no air conditioning. It also had a large number of separate office rooms, meaning that there was no modern open-plan layout.

The combined Taylor Wimpey Head Office is set to be in London [ [http://www.building.co.uk/story.asp?storycode=3090128 Closure of Solihull offices] ] .

Frank Taylor's Chairmanship

"To read a biography of Frank Taylor, see Francis Taylor, Baron Taylor of Hadfield."

Frank Taylor had ambitious plans for the business, expanding it from a small, regional UK house builder in the North of England, to a large international organisation. The business over-expanded, there was a lack of focus and a number of the businesses were under-performing, which attracted criticism from institutional investors after Frank Taylor listed the business on the London Stock Exchange on 7 March 1947 to raise cash for expansion.

Frank Taylor's mass diversification was not the only aspect of his business philosophy which raised eye-brows. He was a strong supporter of the Conservative Party, donating money and becoming friendly with the then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. Taylor Woodrow, as a company, also gave political donations, both to the Conservative Party and to the Labour Party.

Merger with George Wimpey Plc

In March 2007, the company announced plans for a £6 billion nil-premium merger with George Wimpey, to be called Taylor Wimpey.

Under the deal, Taylor Woodrow Shareholders retained their shares in Taylor Woodrow, retaining 51% of the enlarged group. George Wimpey shareholders undertook a share swap, of 1.3914 New Taylor Woodrow Shares for every George Wimpey share held, enabling them to have a 49% shareholding in Taylor Woodrow. Taylor Woodrow plc then changed its name to Taylor Wimpey plc.

Bibliography

* cite book
last = Jenkins
first = Alan
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = On Site 1921-71
publisher = Heinemann:London
date = 1971
location =
pages = 226p
url =
doi =
id =
isbn = 0434908908

* cite book
last = Jenkins
first = Alan
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Built on Teamwork - Sequel to On Site
publisher = Heinemann:London
date = 1980
location =
pages = 245p
url =
doi =
id =
isbn = 0434372897

External links

* [http://www.taylorwimpey.com/Home/TWConstruction Official site]
* [http://www.taylorwimpey.com/ Taylor Wimpey plc]

References


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