Belvoir has this morning announced the acquisition of Northwood, the largest remaining independent lettings franchise in the UK, adding a further 86 offices to the Belvoir network, and taking the total number of outlets to 301.
The £22m deal, which will be part-funded by the placing of new shares, propels Belvoir into first place among the UK’s property franchise networks, ahead of Martin & Co.
Northwood’s chief executive Gemma Goodson and managing director Eric Walker are staying with the business.
Dorian Gonsalves, Belvoir’s managing director, said: “I am delighted to confirm that, subject to completion today, Belvoir will be acquiring Northwood GB Ltd.
“Northwood, which was started in 1995, is a very well-respected lettings and sales network with a strong lettings bias and the opportunity to acquire the company represented a clear strategic and cultural fit for Belvoir.
“It is also indicative of our commitment to developing the network with multi-brand franchises. The Northwood acquisition will add 86 franchised offices in various locations around the UK.
“I am pleased to say that this will position the group as the largest property franchise in the UK with more than 54,000 managed properties and a total of 301 outlets.
“When we floated on the London Stock Exchange in 2012 we made a clear promise to our network and to our investors that we would reach 200 offices before the end of 2016. Having achieved 300+ offices by June 2016, we are well ahead of our target.”
Last year Belvoir bought Goodchilds and Newton Fallowell brands and Gonsalves said: “Over the last 12 months Belvoir has demonstrated that it is possible to operate a successful multi-brand strategy with effectively a “glass wall” between each brand and, of course, separate management and support teams.
“It’s clear to everyone that our industry is evolving around us and we have chosen to be at the forefront of consolidation in our sector, which over time, will bring numerous benefits and provide underlying strength to our Group. Our enlarged network means we’re in a far better position to face competitive changes in our marketplace in the future, and capitalise on opportunities as the industry evolves.
“In addition to our recent acquisitions of existing franchise networks, we have worked extremely hard to put our franchise owners forward as credible, well-prepared and well-funded acquisition buyers in their local territories. As a franchisor, we will continue to do the same when strategic opportunities present themselves.
“Our pipeline of franchisee-led acquisitions remains strong and several new acquisitions are due to complete in the next few weeks, bringing second and even third offices to those Belvoir franchise owners who have been actively pursuing their own acquisition strategy.
“To survive and thrive in our market, and to further enhance our collective brands locally and nationally, we must continue to explore new frontiers. The Northwood acquisition is a prime example of our commitment to this.
“I am delighted to confirm that Gemma Goodson, chief executive of Northwood, will be remaining in her role, as will managing director Eric Walker. Their invaluable input will provide continuity and a wealth of experience that will help to ensure the success of this new partnership.”
Source: Belvoir Head office