UK markets open in 7 hours 8 minutes

Housebuilder Redrow in talks with banks, Bank of England for financing

The company logo of construction company Redrow is pictured on a flag at a new housing development near Manchester northern England.

LONDON (Reuters) - Redrow <RDW.L>, one of Britain's largest housebuilders, is in talks with six banks to secure additional credit and has applied to take part in the Bank of England's scheme for financing support as it shuts sites due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The company, which says it has a strong balance sheet, will also furlough a "significant proportion" of its staff so they can secure funding from the government under an emergency state aid package for businesses..

"These are unprecedented times," Executive Chairman John Tutte said on Friday. "The actions we have announced today will give us the flexibility to manage the business through this turbulent period to ensure we are ready to resume production when it is safe to do so".

The coronavirus outbreak has ripped through the British economy, forcing workers to stay at home. As governments restrict public transport to key workers, construction sites have shut to prevent workers travelling in confined spaces and gathering in large groups.

Redrow said it would start an orderly and safe closure of all its sites and offices.

As a result, it has asked its banks for additional committed banking facilities over and above the current 250 million pounds revolving credit facility. It hopes to increase the additional 'accordion' facility of 50 million pounds that is available to 100 million pounds.

It said once it was safe to reopen its sites it would focus on fulfilling an order book that stands at 1.4 billion pounds.



(Reporting by Kate Holton; Editing by Edmund Blair and Mark Potter)