After several months of takeover talk, it appears that Washington Homes Inc. will remain independent -- for now.
However, at least one of the three bidders for the company apparently is seeking financing for a possible new attempt to take over the Waldorf-based home builder.
Washington Homes announced yesterday that a British industrial company had formally let its option to buy 24 percent of the company expire this week.
The announcement was not unexpected, because the British firm, Scottish Heritage Trust PLC, had said it would pull out of the deal because of the recent changes in stock market conditions.
In a statement, Washington Homes also indicated that two other offers for the company appeared to have been scuttled for the time being.
Washington Homes said it "does not intend to solicit any further offers at the present time."
One of the two unsolicited bids, from Sonny DeCesaris & Sons of Clinton, Md., expired last month.
In an interview yesterday, Geaton A. DeCesaris Jr., who has been heading up his family's efforts to buy Washington Homes, said his company increased its stake in Washington Homes to 8.5 percent from 8 percent after the stock market collapse in October.
DeCesaris said his company is holding discussions with various financial institutions about raising the money needed for another buyout offer, but has made no final decision on whether it would pursue such a bid.
"Depending on what kind of feedback we get, we'll make a decision," he said.
The other offer, from Preference Homes II LP, still stands, but Washington Homes said yesterday that it has been informed that the suitor "has been unable to obtain financing due to uncertainty in the financial markets."
Washington Homes said in its statement that along with its financial adviser, Thomson McKinnon Securities Inc., it reviewed these proposals and invited additional proposals.
"Due to the recent uncertainty in the markets, none of the companies contacted expressed any interest in pursuing a transaction with the company," its statement said.