Countrywide plc invests £23.9 million in the UK rental market acquiring 28 lettings businesses in 2013

Countrywide plc

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Countrywide plc, the UK’s largest integrated property services group including the largest lettings agency, has capitalised on the growth of the UK rental market and significantly increased its regional footprint by investing £23.9 million in acquiring 28 lettings businesses, over two businesses a month in 2013.

Over the past five years Countrywide plc has invested £47.2 million in acquiring over 60 lettings businesses throughout England and Scotland. In the past six years Countrywide plc has added over 300 branches to its lettings network through acquisitions and new starts within its existing estate agency network.

Nick Dunning, Group Commercial Director, Countrywide plc, comments:

“The 28 acquisitions made in the past 12 months are in line with our selective acquisitions strategy, which includes plans to complete a similar number of acquisitions in 2014. These acquisitions significantly increase our regional footprint and fill in the geographical gaps in our portfolio. A highly fragmented lettings market offers ongoing opportunities to acquire lettings businesses and scope to enter new markets as well as expand our presence in existing markets.

“We have fully integrated the 28 businesses within the overall Countrywide lettings model and this has led to strong growth in the lettings division. This is an exciting period for Countrywide Residential Lettings and the growth of our lettings operation continues to be a major focus as it remains a key income driver for the Group.”

John Hards, Managing Director, Countrywide Residential Lettings, comments:

“I am delighted to welcome the acquisitions to the Countrywide Residential Lettings team and look forward to working with all who have joined us. Countrywide has a unique ability to grow businesses by ensuring they operate autonomously, retain their local heritage and benefit from Countrywide’s ongoing investment and support. For clients, Countrywide’s structure, scale and all-round property expertise enables it to best serve the needs of clients of all sizes; from private landlords to corporate investors.

“In line with our expansion strategy and with more acquisitions in the pipeline, we are very interested in talking to professional agents with single or multi branch businesses almost anywhere in the UK. If you would like to speak to me in absolute confidence I can be reached at john.hards@countrywide.co.uk

Key acquisitions in 2013 include Russells Lettings in Cambridgeshire and Fitz-Gibbon Lettings in South West London.

Russells Lettings is an established local lettings agency with branches in Cambridge, Sawston and Ely. Russells Lettings manages a substantial portfolio of quality homes in the Cambridge and Ely areas, which include period properties, modern apartments, family homes, flats and bungalows.

Fitz-Gibbon is a specialist letting agency with offices in Richmond, Chiswick and Twickenham and has covered the area between Kensington and Kingston-upon-Thames for 25 years. Founded by Gerald and Susan Fitz-Gibbon who is President of the Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA), the business focuses on the corporate and professional lettings market offering a range of services, including an expanding investment acquisition service for its many UK based and expatriate clients throughout West and South West London.

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