Countrywide acquires UK franchise for Sotheby's International Realty brand

Estate Agents

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

UK's largest agent expands with top London office and exclusive franchise agreement

Countrywide, the UK's largest estate agency and property services Group, has announced a new acquisition with rights to grow Sotheby's International Realty across prime UK locations.

The agreement allows Countrywide to open UK Sotheby's International Realty® franchise branches across the UK and Channel Islands. The deal also includes the prestigious Mayfair branch of Sotheby's International Realty, which attracts a wealth of high-end London home movers and international investors.
"This is a major step forward in our worldwide growth plan," said Michael R. Good, president and chief executive officer, Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates LLC.  "This agreement will enable the Sotheby's International Realty brand to expand significantly in London and throughout the United Kingdom.  The leadership of Countrywide is very talented and committed to growing our presence steadily over the next several years."

The Sotheby's International Realty network has approximately 500 offices in 38 countries and territories worldwide. Franchise affiliates benefit from an association with the world-renowned Sotheby's Auction House, established in 1744.

"Countrywide moves more people than any other agent in the United Kingdom through a network of 1,200 offices with 41 leading estate agency brands," said Grenville Turner, Countrywide Group Chief Executive.  "We plan to expand the presence of the Sotheby's International Realty brand in central London and across the United Kingdom and to capitalise on the renewed sense of confidence we see in the property market. While this new business will be run separately from our other brands, we intend to leverage the support of our existing business structure. We also look forward to collaborating closely with the Sotheby's Auction House in London as we develop our strategies."

Countrywide has seen growth in its UK market share over the last year, and believes this agreement provides the platform for additional expansion. "The Sotheby's International Realty brand is iconic and offers a huge potential for quality growth," said Robert Scarff, Managing Director, Countrywide Estate Agents. "The strength of the UK property market for foreign investors makes this an ideal acquisition for us."

Charlie Smith, Managing Director of Sotheby's International Realty UK, whose tenure with the Sotheby's International Realty brand surpasses 10 years, said: "I'm thrilled with this news as Countrywide is the biggest player in the market with the energy and power to help us grow a UK-wide network. This offers potential to grow across prime locations and signals a new and exciting chapter in our history." 

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