The Pulte-Centex combine looks more like an outright buyout based on the roster of executives who will run the merged company, all Pulte veterans save Centex CEO Tim Eller, who will serve as vice chairman and serve on the board and as a consultant for two years once the deal is closed.

As expected, Richard Dugas will remain president and CEO but will add the title of chairman. His management team will consist of the same group he has at Pulte: Steven Petruska as exec vp and COO; Roger Cregg as exec vp and CFO; James Ellinghausen as exec vp, HR; Debra Still as president and CEO of Pulte Mortgage LLC; and Steven Cook as senior vp, general counsel and secretary. Pulte founder and chairman William J. Pulte will remain on the board but will relinquish the chairman role to Dugas.

The occasion for the Pulte announcement was the Tuesday expiration of the Hart-Scott-Rodino waiting period, a 30-day window during which a proposed merger is held from closing to allow the appropriate federal agencies to ensure it does not run afoul of antitrust law. The deal, however, is still subject to approval by shareholders of both companies.

Pulte said it expects the transaction to close during the third quarter of 2009. The companies have hired Booz & Co. to assist in the "integration planning" process.

In a statement, Pulte's Dugas said the merger will "allow our company to deliver unmatched quality and value to our customers, superior financial performance to our shareholders, and greater career opportunities to our employees."