By Jill Ralph. Finding an entry point in the South Carolina marketplace, Lennar Corp. has acquired local builder Seppala Homes in an all-cash transaction. Seppala Homes, which does business in the Charleston, Columbia, Greenville/Spartanburg, and Myrtle Beach metropolitan areas, delivered approximately 400 homes in 2002.

Lennar hopes to help the small builder -- Seppala Homes currently owns or controls 2,500 homesites -- grow within South Carolina. Seppala Homes, a locally owned family builder, entered the building arena in 1992 and now has an average selling price of $104,000.

Robert Strudler, COO of Lennar Corp., said: "This is an excellent home building franchise which will be a complement to our growing presence in the South Carolina home building market."

Lennar generated $7.3 billion revenue in 2002 and closed 28,373 units for the year ending Nov. 30, 2002.