D.R. Horton is said to be close to announcing completion of its plans to purchase Crown Communities, the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Ga.-metro area's No. 1 builder in unit volume, a move that would more than double Horton's marketshare to just shy of 15% in a resurgent Atlanta market.

Executives with knowledge of the transaction confirmed that a deal closing and announcement is imminent, possibly within the next 7 days. Knowledgable executives say that Crown ceo Francis Downey will remain in place, and that Crown will run as an "owned but separate" operation for the time being, as it's a highly efficient one.

D.R. Horton, which in reporting earnings last week announced that it was unveiling its new first-time buyer-targeted Express line of homes, has been observed to be moving into a market share strategy as incremental unit volume gains become the battle line for growth in recovery's challenging second leg.

Crown Communities, which achieved a BUILDER 100 ranking of 28 in the soon-to-be-released 2013 special report on the nation's 200 largest home builders by volume, is a privately-held company operating in Georgia, South Carolina, and Alabama. It reported 2013 revenue of $370 million on closings of 1,540 units, and it stands as the No. 1 builder in the Atlanta market. Here's the latest Metrostudy data on the Atlanta market.


The deal gives Horton greater geographical diversity in the Atlanta metro area, as it currently has strength in the North Atlanta counties, with lesser activity in the southern vicinities. Crown's strengths are in the southern counties, with less presence in the North.

More on this combination to come in the hours and days ahead. Horton has been on an M&A hunt of late, focused particularly on upping its clout in the Southeast region.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Atlanta, GA.