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National lettings and estate agency group formed

Lomond Capital, the owner of Birmingham lettings and estate agent John Shepherd, is to merge with Yorkshire firm Linley & Simpson to create a new national lettings and estate agency group.

The new group has a combined portfolio of over 22,000 properties under management and major hubs in private rental hotspots including Brighton, Edinburgh, Leeds, Manchester, Aberdeen and Birmingham.

It brings together several high street letting and estate agency brands including John Shepherd in Birmingham, Thornley Groves in Manchester and Linley & Simpson across Yorkshire. All local brands will continue to operate in their respective regions.

The deal has the backing of private equity firm LDC, and the new Group will now look to strengthen its nationwide network through complementary acquisitions and organic growth.

Stuart Pender, group CEO of Lomond Capital, said: “Lettings and estate agents are facing an increasingly complex regulatory environment and challenging trading conditions. We have had significant success in bringing together and supporting good quality regional agents under one operating model whilst maintaining a local, on the ground approach which together has delivered significant benefits to landlords and tenants.

“Market conditions in the private rental sector are well-suited to continued growth through consolidation. We are looking to continue to consolidate regional markets, whilst at the same time enhancing the proposition the sector offers to clients, through our network of market leading regional agents.”

Linley & Simpson and Lomond Capital have driven success through different growth strategies. Linley & Simpson is already backed by LDC and has grown significantly by adopting an ambitious acquisition strategy across the Yorkshire region. Since LDC’s investment in June 2018, the business has made 18 acquisitions and doubled its portfolio from 5,000 to 10,000 properties. Lomond has invested in developing a regional platform by building a presence in some of the most attractive UK cities for private renters.

Co-founder and CEO of Linley & Simpson, Will Linley, will join the board as group managing director with a focus on delivering the Group’s ambitious acquisitive growth strategy. Nick Simpson will become CEO of Yorkshire and Martin Elliott CFO.

Will Linley said: “This transaction is a continuation of our approach to building our business while retaining our successful local approach. We are actively seeking fresh opportunities to grow within Birmingham.We’re excited about the opportunities in each of the Lomond regions and I’m looking forward to working closely with Stuart, the Lomond team and LDC to help grow the new group.” 

Pictured: Stuart Pender, group CEO of Lomond Capital

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