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Toll Brothers enters Atlanta market

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Horsham, Pa.-based Toll Brothers, a builder of luxury homes, announced its entry into the metro Atlanta market. The move continues Toll Brothers’ expansion in the Southeast, where it currently operates communities in Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina.

“We have been studying the Atlanta market for a long time and have been looking for the right opportunity to enter this market,” said Robert Toll, chairman and CEO of Toll Brothers. “Atlanta ranks third among American cities for Fortune 500-headquartered firms and continues to attract relocation buyers as well as area move-up buyers.”

Toll Brothers’ first community in Georgia — 311-unit Woodstock Knoll — will open for sales on Sept. 22, with deliveries anticipated for summer 2008. The community is located on approximately 200 acres near downtown Woodstock in Cherokee County, about 30 minutes from Atlanta.

Toll Brothers operates in 22 states. In its third quarter ended July 31, Toll Brothers’ net income declined 85 percent to $26.5 million. The company’s third-quarter total revenues were $1.21 billion, down 26.4 percent from revenues of $1.53 billion in last year’s quarter.

“We continue to wrestle with the interrelated challenges of softer demand and excess housing supply in most markets,” said Toll, in a prepared statement late last month.

The company builds luxury single-family detached and attached home communities, master planned luxury residential resort-style golf communities and urban low-, mid- and high-rise communities, principally on land it develops and improves. Toll Brothers also operates its own architectural, engineering, mortgage, title, land development and land sale, golf course development and management and landscape subsidiaries.

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Canadian Tire to delve further into financial services

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Canadian Tire has announced the launch of its “One-and-Only” combined checking, savings and mortgage account for homeowners. The new product will allow users to fold all three into one financial product, according to the company.

The goal is to allow consumers to pay off debts faster, the company said, while consumers who open the account also will be able to earn bonus Candian Tire “money” for purchase of goods at the home improvement and automotive products retailer.

“We know from our consumer and market research that as the size of the average mortgage continues to grow, so does every Canadian’s desire to pay off that debt as quickly as possible,” said Marco Marrone, president of Canadian Tire Financial Services.

Canadian Tire jointly launched the Web site mortgageinyourway.com, to show consumers where and how they can save money with the One-and-Only account. The site includes a tool to help see how consumers can pay off their mortgages quicker, called the “Mortgage-Free Faster Tool.”

Canadian Tire operates more than 1,100 stores and gas stations in Canada. The company offers other financial services, including its “Canadian Tire Options MasterCard” and the Canadian Tire Auto Club, which offers emergency roadside assistance services.

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Home Depot completes tender offer

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Home Depot has reported the preliminary results of its tender offer, which closed on Aug. 31 with the repurchase of 289.6 million shares at a price of $37 per share. Excluding fees and expenses, the stock buyback will cost approximately $10.7 billion.

Most of the money — about $8 billion — will come from the proceeds of the sale of HD Supply, according to spokeswoman Paula Drake. Another $2.7 billion will be paid in cash, she said.

Originally, Home Depot announced it wanted to spend $22.5 billion on its recapitalization plan, offering $39 to $44 per share. But the company cut its offer price in mid-August to $37 to $42.

Drake said the company will continue buying back shares but gave no specific timeline for doing so. The 290 million shares being repurchased in the tender offer represent approximately 14.6 percent of the company’s outstanding stock, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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