Monday, July 26, 1999

Schuler Homes
enters S. Calif.,
Arizona markets

Star-Bulletin staff


Schuler Homes Schuler Homes Inc., a Honolulu-based home builder that has increased its profits by acquiring mainland businesses, said today it has acquired significant assets of another, Rielly Homes Inc., based in Orange County, Calif.

Rielly Homes has delivered more than 3,000 homes since its founding in 1986 and last year closed 165 home sales for a 1998 sales volume of $50.6 million, according to Schuler.

Pamela Jones, Schuler's senior vice president of finance and chief financial officer, said the acquisition gets Schuler into mainland areas it wasn't in before -- Southern California and Arizona.

James K. Schuler, chairman, president and chief executive of Schuler Homes, said the acquisition fits with his company's strategy of expansion into selected residential markets on the mainland.

Schuler is not buying the Rielly company. Rather, Jones said, Schuler arranged to acquire an interest in Rielly's existing joint venture operations and is "stepping into their future options" for new projects. Rielly controls land for the development of another 3,200 homes. The purchase price was not disclosed.

"It rounds out our company," Jones said. Schuler now has a presence in most Western states that have significant home-building activity, she said. It already had operations in Colorado, Northern California, Oregon and Washington, as well as Hawaii.

After a string of losses in Hawaii, Schuler set up several divisions on the mainland in 1996 and has since expanded there by acquiring businesses and assets. As a result, its revenues went from $93.6 million in 1996 to $229 million in 1997 and $283 million last year. Its bottom line went from a loss of $11.4 million in 1996 to profits of $5.9 million in 1997 and $12.7 million last year.

Jones said she expects the Rielly acquisition to add to Schuler earnings in 2000.

Schuler's stock, thinly traded on the Nasdaq market, was down 25 cents at $7.12 today.

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