AV Homes, Inc.

Avatar Holdings Inc. Becomes AV Homes, Inc.

Strategic planning initiative defines new brands, business plans, products

With nearly 80 years of history behind it, builder and developer Avatar Holdings Inc. is changing its name.  The new company name is AV Homes, Inc. and its shares will begin trading on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol AVHI effective as of the market open on Feb. 16, 2012.  AV Homes has main offices in Poinciana, Florida and Scottsdale.  The Arizona communities include CantaMia, Serena at Palm Valley, The Preserve at Palm Valley in Goodyear, and Arboleda Ranch in Phoenix.

The new name was chosen to communicate an unmistakable business identity to its customers, while maintaining a linkage to the company’s long and successful history.  The new name, however, is just one part of a larger strategic planning initiative that was undertaken to position the company to participate in the much anticipated rebound in the homebuilding sector.

AV Homes has deep and diversified roots in American business.  Founded in 1933, it endured the Great Depression and has operated in business sectors such as finance, insurance, utilities and manufacturing.   More recently, the company established itself as a builder of active adult communities for people 55 and older, and by serving the housing needs of move-up buyers.

Chief Executive Officer Allen J. Anderson, who stepped into the role in June 2011, said the strategic planning initiative, conducted with assistance from real estate advisory firm RCLCO, has served to redefine the company’s business plans.  “As a company we have a strong understanding of the active adult market and how the last five years have affected the retirement plans of Baby Boomers,” he said.  “In addition, Boomers have never been more focused on the elements that contribute to a healthy and vital lifestyle.  These are both factors that will help us define the homes and lifestyles we provide to this massive demographic segment of our population,” he added.

Anderson said AV Homes will soon bring new active adult brands to the market, but did not elaborate about the specific elements of those brands.  Late last year the company announced that it is reviewing its thousands of acres of land holdings in Central Florida with the objective of selling some of those holdings and deploying the capital from those sales to diversify the geographic footprint of the company.

Recently, the company rebranded its primary residential development operations under the Joseph Carl Homes™ name.  That brand has ongoing operations in the Orlando and Phoenix areas.  Joseph Carl Homes was founded by AV Homes Executive Vice President Carl Mulac.  Mulac and his business associates sold the company to AV Homes in October of 2010.  That sale also included CantaMia, a 55+ active adult community near Phoenix.

Anderson said the overall rebranding activity was an important part of the strategic plan, but added that the company was also implementing a new operational model to address the economic realities of the industry.  “Builders today cannot compete successfully using the operating models of the past,” he said.  “We closed our corporate offices in Coral Gables, Florida and placed our teams and executive officers on the ground closer to our assets.  We’ve right-sized our employee base to align with ongoing operations, and have initiated third-party agreements with experienced service providers who can better manage our lifestyle operations and enhance our customers’ satisfaction,” he said.

Finally, as part of AV Homes’ strategic planning initiative, the company has reduced the size of its Board of Directors from nine members to six.  Directors Milton Dresner, Beth Stewart and Ken Rosen resigned from their positions effective Feb. 13, 2012.

Avatar Chairman Joshua Nash said he was extremely appreciative of the considerable contributions these directors made on behalf of the company over so many years of dedicated service.  “They served Avatar with dedication and high distinction for many years and together, they have contributed to our success and helped build a strong foundation for our future growth.  We thank them for their unwavering commitment and wish each of them continued success in their future endeavors,” Mr. Nash said.

Go to AVHomes.com for more information.