A Yorkshire estate agency has completed the next major stage in its multi-million-pound expansion programme with the acquisition of two fellow independent rivals.
Linley & Simpson, which has a network of 11 branches across North and West Yorkshire, has taken over the letting portfolios of both Leeds-headquartered Hitchen & Co and McCartney Lettings, located at Bishopthorpe village in York.
This brace of deals – clinched for undisclosed sums – takes the number of acquisitions completed by Linley & Simpson in its Yorkshire heartland to six this year alone.
And they represent the first ones since LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group, invested £10m into the Linley & Simpson business in June to accelerate its growth strategy, designed to strengthen its position at the forefront of Yorkshire’s residential sales and lettings market.
The twin acquisition has resulted in an extra 340 properties being transferred to the management of Linley & Simpson. This influx propels its total portfolio of properties under management in Yorkshire past the 6,000 milestone for the first time.
Linley & Simpson chief executive Will Linley said: “We are thrilled to augment our business with this duo of well-known and respected names in the Yorkshire marketplace.
“We are committed to investing in the future and the injection of funds from the team at LDC equips us with the ability to move forward at scale and at pace.
“Other acquisitions are planned before the end of the year as we aim to consolidate our position in a market that we know very well, and which we believe holds no shortage of opportunities.”
He added: “These latest acquisitions, and others in the pipeline, form another strong signal of our confidence in the future – and investing in it.
“Through our partnership with LDC, we aim to increase the number of properties we manage from 6,000 to 10,000 over the next three years, bringing our market-leading services to a wider range of customers right across the Yorkshire region.”
Gareth Marshall, investment director at LDC, said: “These acquisitions will allow Linley & Simpson to continue its exciting growth strategy, further consolidate its position as one of Yorkshire’s leading estate agencies and take its market leading service to more tenants and landlords.
“As the first acquisitions made since our investment they also represent a major milestone in the company’s expansion programme. With plenty of exciting projects to come we’re looking forward to further supporting the business as it continues to go from strength-to-strength.”
The collection of properties acquired from family-run Hitchen & Co will largely be shared between Linley & Simpson’s established offices at Swinegate in Leeds city centre and Northgate in Wakefield.
The McCartney portfolio will be transferred seamlessly into Linley & Simpson’s flagship York branch at Low Ousegate – the bigger premises it relocated to in May following its acquisition of city rival Coalters.
When Linley & Simpson launched 21 years ago, it did so with just two offices in Leeds – Horsforth and Roundhay – and a handful of staff.
Now, following its latest deals, it employs more than 180 staff across a growing network of 11 regional branches.
The company’s network of branches has now expanded to include Leeds city centre, Horsforth, Roundhay, Chapel Allerton, Harrogate, Ripon, Wetherby, Ilkley, Saltaire, Wakefield and York.