Shares in Taylor Wimpey were down on the FTSE 250 in morning trading after the housebuilder said yesterday it would be selling its North American business for $955 million.

Taylor Wimpey said it would be selling Taylor Woodrow Holdings (USA), Inc and Taylor Wimpey Holdings of Canada, Corporation, to TMM Holdings Limited Partnership.

The company said it wanted to focus on its core housing business in Great Britain and added that the sale of the North American business was at a premium of 3.4 per cent. The net cash from the sale will go on paying off the group's pension deficit and reducing its borrowings.

Pete Redfern, Chief Executive of Taylor Wimpey, said, "We are delighted to announce the sale of our North American Business, which is a significant step towards our goal of becoming a UK focused homebuilder. The sale will provide us with a strengthened balance sheet and increased financial capacity to invest in the UK and to pursue our strategic aims of focusing on margin growth.

"Following a competitive process, we are pleased to have achieved a price that reflects an attractive valuation for this business. I have been hugely impressed by our North American employees and would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their hard work, loyalty and commitment over many years and in relation to this transaction."

By 10:00 shares in Taylor Wimpey were down 2.76 per cent on the FTSE 250 to 39.50 pence per share.