Countrywide expands with Letmore Group acquisition

Residential Lettings

Friday, July 2, 2010

UK's largest letting agent continues its expansion plans in prime rental locations

Countrywide, the UK's largest letting agent and property services Group, is continuing its expansion plans with the purchase of The Letmore Group, the largest independent specialist lettings agency in East London and Essex.

The Letmore Group was established in 1999, which brought together three thriving lettings businesses; PMS Letting & Management Services (established in 1989), Forest Bureau (established in 1966) and Churchill Lettings (established in 1990).

Countrywide's acquisition of The Letmore Group includes the rights to grow and expand the three existing brands beyond their current network of seven offices in key rental hot spots South Woodford, Woodford Green, Loughton, Buckhurst Hill, Stratford, North Chingford and Walthamstow.

John Hards, Co-Managing Director of Countrywide Residential Lettings, said: "The Letmore Group offers huge potential in prime commuter locations and key rental hot spots across East London and Essex. The heritage of the brands was a huge attraction for Countrywide and integral to the deal, as were the staff who are a credit to the business. Their success over the last 40 years of trading is a credit to the team involved and I'm looking forward to seeing how further portfolio acquisitions and Countrywide's fresh investment can build upon this."

The news follows Countrywide's high profile acquisition of Hamptons International last month and its network of more than 80 estate agency and lettings branches.

Historically, Countrywide has a strong history of acquiring local letting agencies and providing the ongoing support, resources and investment they need to grow, all while retaining their local heritage and market expertise. Recent acquisitions include Accord Lets in Birmingham, Warwick and Royal Leamington Spa, Andrew Reeves in Kent and South London and Hunters for Homes in Falmouth, Cornwall.

Phil Spencer, Managing Director of The Letmore Group said; "I'm incredibly proud of the business we've grown but felt we had reached a stage where we needed to expand further by either  an injection of substantial investment or to join forces with a major company that had the resources to take The Letmore Group to the next leveI.

"Countrywide offers the best future for The Letmore Group and will build on our existing brands by offering new investment and new opportunities for our staff and for the business to grow as part of a network of 1,300 offices."

Phil Spencer will continue in his role as a consultant for the next 12 months to ensure a smooth hand over, having spent more than 20 years growing the business.

John added: "All 40 staff at The Letmore Group will be retained and the business will continue to operate as three local brands, which will help us to ensure we retain the local expertise and heritage that has enabled the business to grow such an impressive rental portfolio.

"We are always looking at ways to grow the lettings business and have a team of staff looking at potential opportunities to take on new portfolios and businesses."

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