IN 2002, ROSEVILLE, MINN.-BASED ROTTLUND Homes, a small player in the public arena, went private under circumstances similar to those currently at William Lyon Homes. At Rottlund, president David Rotter; chairman, vice president, and treasurer Bernard Rotter; and their family members owned 69 percent of the company's outstanding common shares. Like William Lyon, the company had limited operations, building in Minneapolis, Tampa, and Des Moines. At the time of the offer, shares closed at $7.75, and Rotter tendered an offer for $9 per share. The market was valuing shares at 4.6 times its trailing 12-month earnings.

So who else among the 21 publics might be able to pull together a consensus on their boards? Here's how some public home builders stack up when it comes to ownership stakes: