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Centex, Pulte Shareholders OK Takeover

ALEX VEIGA

Pulte Home Inc.'s $1.53 billion takeover of rival Centex Corp. was approved by shareholders of both companies Tuesday, creating the largest homebuilder in the United States.

The deal matches Pulte's division for retirement-age homebuyers with Centex's focus on young first-time buyers. By absorbing Centex, Pulte is now positioned to sell homes in 29 states and Washington D.C., under brands such as Del Webb, DiVosta and Fox & Jacobs. Pulte also gains large tracts of land in Texas, North Carolina and South Carolina.

"It was a very satisfying victory," said Richard Dugas Jr., Pulte's president and CEO, who now adds the title of chairman. He said he expected the transaction to be finalized by the end of the day.

The combined company is keeping the Pulte name and headquarters in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., but not all of the employees. Dugas didn't say how many people might lose their jobs, but said some cuts could come "right away."

Timothy Eller, the CEO of Dallas-based Centex, will serve as a director and vice chairman as well as a consultant for two years.

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