MartinCo to pay Â£6m for Legal & General businesses
Bournemouth-based MartinCo has acquired the rival franchised property businesses of Legal & General in a deal worth about £6m.
The company will pay £5m in cash for Xperience Franchising and Whitegates Estates Agency plus a further amount representing the net assets of Xperience at completion, expected to be £1m.
Xperience is a pure franchised lettings and estate agency group with 89 offices and 75 franchisees, comprising the CJ Hole, Ellis and Co, Parkers and Whitegates brands.
"This acquisition of the entire property franchise business of Legal & General is a significant step forward in the group's development and was made possible by our IPO and fundraising in 2013," said Ian Wilson, chief executive of MartinCo.
"This acquisition secures a very substantial portfolio of tenanted, managed properties and balances our mix of lettings and estate agency revenue.
"It significantly extends our agency network in London and brings with it both an experienced franchise management team and a powerful partner in Legal & General to help the directors exploit opportunities for financial services across our enlarged office network."
Xperience has more than 11,000 tenanted, managed properties, increasing the group's total to 43,000. Michael Stoop, Xperience's managing director, has also joined as group managing director.
Wilson said: "The group will own five franchise master licences and each of its five brands has the potential for further development.
"The group's first brand, Martin & Co is a truly national brand predominately focused on lettings activity, while the strength of the four acquired brands lies in their regional focus and balanced mix of lettings and estate agency income streams."
In October, MartinCo has agreed a £5m loan facility with Santander, less than a year after it raised £4m by floating part of the business on AIM.