After more than a year of prodding by disgruntled investors, La Jolla-based PICO Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: PICO) announced it will sell land developer and homebuilder UCP Inc., of which it is majority owner, to Colorado-based homebuilder Century Communities Inc.
PICO, a publicly traded firm with interests in water and land rights, has most of its equity in UCP and in subsidiary Vidler Water Co. Inc., which has water rights and infrastructure interests in the Southwest.
UCP and Century Communities’ boards of directors have agreed to a stock-and-cash transaction in which UCP’s shareholders would receive $5.32 in cash and the balance in Century Communities’ stock for a value of $11.35 per share as of market close Monday.
In statements published April 11, the companies described the agreement as a merger and a “business combination.” Century Communities’ market capitalization is more than double that of UCP’s.
UCP stockholders still need to approve the deal. PICO, the company’s largest shareholder, said it has agreed to vote in favor of the merger. If approved, the transaction is expected to close by the end of the third quarter.
PICO’s stock rose on the news, rising more than 7 percent by 3 p.m. (EST) Tuesday since market close Monday.