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National Homes Corporation - Lehman Brothers Collection

National Homes Corporation

List of Deals

A manufacturer of prefabricated housing and buildings, the National Homes Corporation was incorporated in 1940. The company’s headquarters were in Lafayette, Indiana. National Homes built prefabricated and modular houses, apartments, mobile classroom units, and mobile homes. It also offered financing and insurance to its buyers.

Prefabricated housing consists of components built in an off-site factory and assembled on the site of the house. Prefabrication made construction speedy: Once a foundation was laid, a house could be erected in two-to-five weeks. In 1948 a two-bedroom National Homes bungalow cost $5,750, with $300 down. In 1971, when the company issued debentures through Kuhn Loeb, a completed house cost $15,000 to $60,000.

The company manufactured its wares at plants in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, New York, Texas, and Virginia. The company’s structures were sold both by its own distribution network and by independent dealers. National Homes began constructing modular housing for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 1968.

The company expanded into related businesses in the late 1960s through acquisition or creation of internal subsidiaries. National Homes began building its own housing subdivisions through its subsidiary, National Homes Construction Corporation, founded in 1965. Then in 1968 the company acquired Lago Vista, Inc., and reinvented the company as a subsidiary, National Resort Communities, Inc. Through National Resort Communities, National Homes began selling recreational and retirement homes in separate subdivisions. In subsequent years National Homes continued acquiring similar resort communities and land.

In 1968 National Homes acquired Chicago Steel Erectors, Inc., a company that built steel framework for bridges and industrial buildings. In 1969 the company acquired Charles L. Langs, Inc., a Michigan construction company that built low-rise multifamily housing. The company also bought the mechanical construction firm of Burton Plumbing-Heating Co. 1969. 

National Homes had sales of $74.3 million in 1966, with $375,000 in net earnings. By 1970 the company had sales of $178.5 million, with $5.6 million in net earnings, and employed about 5,000 people.

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