Lettings agency completes £22 million acquisition to become largest property franchise in the UK

Property agency Belvoir has just signed a £22 million deal to acquire the UK's largest remaining independent lettings franchise.

Tuesday, 7th June 2016, 11:07 am
Updated Tuesday, 7th June 2016, 12:12 pm
Dorian Gonsalves, managing director of Belvoir.

Grantham-headquartered Belvoir has acquired Northwood GB adding 86 offices to the Belvoir network and pushing its total number of outlets to 301.

The deal makes Belvoir, which was created 21 years ago, the largest property franchise in the UK.

It is made up of more than 54,000 managed properties and a total of 301 outlets.

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The super-deal is the latest in a number of developments at Belvoir, which has outlets across eastern England.

Four years ago the company floated on the London Stock Exchange and last year completed the acquisition of the Goodchilds and Newton Fallowell brands.

Belvoir’s managing director, Dorian Gonsalves, said: “I am delighted to confirm that 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.

“The opportunity to acquire the company represented a clear strategic and cultural fit for Belvoir.

“I am pleased to say that this will position the group as the largest property franchise in the UK.

The acquisition of Northwood is not anticipated to have any detrimental impact on existing Belvoir or Northwood offices.

Mr Gonsalves said: “Both brands have already operated successfully in the same territories for several years and this situation will continue unchanged.

“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.”

Gemma Goodson, chief executive of Northwood, will remain in her role, as will managing director Eric Walker.

Mr Walker said: “Belvoir is hugely respected within the industry and there is great empathy between the two boards.

“This is an age of consolidation and we really needed to try and find a partner so that we could develop and expand our business, whilst continuing to offer our unique selling point of a guaranteed rent product.”