California developer turns billionaire in Toll buyout

November 16, 2013 01:00PM

 A new real estate billionaire was crowned this week when Vera Guerin, the daughter of Nathan Shapell, an Auschwitz survivor and one of California’s largest property developers, sold her late father’s company to Toll Brother’s for $1.6 billion.

Toll Brother’s, the largest luxury-home builder in the U.S., will pay cash for Shapell Industries, according to Bloomberg News. The acquisition will bring the number of California lots owned by Toll up to about 9,200.

“The Shapell company has a long, storied history,” Douglas Yearley Jr., CEO of Toll Brothers, told Bloomberg News. “Nathan Shapell, his brother David and their brother-in-law Max Webb from the ’50s on tied up ranches in the best locations in northern and southern California and got those ranches entitled. It’s a perfect fit for Toll Brothers.”

Shapell Industries was founded in 1955, and has developed about 70,000 homes and 7,000 apartments throughout California. It also manages more than 2.7 million square feet of commercial property. [Bloomberg News]Christopher Cameron