By Iris Richmond At a time when most builders are trying to get bigger, Larry Webb, CEO of WL Homes, says the time is right to have less leverage in the market place. "We decided to focus on what we know and where we know best how to sell: California and Colorado," he says.

After months of rumors, three of WL's nine divisions -- Nevada, Utah, and Washington, D.C. -- are officially on the market. "Clearly there's an emphasis on Wall Street for public companies to get bigger--they're paying premiums on that--but we don't measure our worth by the number of homes we sell," Webb says.

Part of WL's shift in strategy began last June, when Webb and his management team undertook a leveraged buyout of the company. While profits from the sale of the divisions would provide the funds to repay that debt, Webb says the sales won't be made in order to meet leverage issues. No sales will transpire, he says, unless he receives fair market value. The primary bidders are large public builders, adds Webb, who is prevented by confidentiality agreements from naming them. The three divisions account for one-third of the 2,200 units WL sold last year.

BIG BUILDER Magazine, March 2002