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Graham Awards


More independents snapped up by big agency chains

The Lomond Capital acquisition bandwagon continues apace with the latest independent to be snapped up being the well known Bonett’s Estate and Lettings Agents in Brighton.

This follows hot on the heels of Lomond’s purchase of SDL Group’s lettings portfolio in Birmingham last week. 

Bonett’s was established nearly 30 years ago by Paul Bonett to become one of Brighton’s most respected property agents. It will now merge with and operate under the banner of Lomond’s local business, Brand Vaughan. The deal comes just over five months after Brand Vaughan acquired Tanat-Jones & Company.


Brand Vaughan chief executive Tom Ghibaldan says: “Paul Bonett is a champion of integrity in the Brighton estate agency and lettings market and it was that shared value that appealed to us. We were impressed by his operation in Brighton – its strong reputation for high standards within the local area. The firm will be a welcome addition to the growing Brand Vaughan business.”

Lomond Capital’s chief executive, Bruce Evans, says many other independents may be considering their exit strategies given the challenges currently facing the lettings sector. 

“Additional pressures to income levels such as increased competition, impending abolition of tenant fees, as well as costs associated with increased regulations, mean that many independent agents are looking to de-risk and release value from their businesses” he says.

Meanwhile Emma Higgins, franchise owner of Martin & Co Yeovil, has completed on the purchase of a portfolio from local agency Home-Bridge Property, adding 185 tenanted managed properties. 

Higgins, a former naval officer, cold-started the town’s Martin & Co business in 2012. 

“This is another acquisition for The Property Franchise Group - we have purchased portfolios of 1,200 tenanted managed properties already this year, and we have sales agreed on another 1,400” says Ian Wilson, chief executive at The Property Franchise Group. 

“Our strategy is to acquire as many businesses as possible over the next two years, and unlike the big corporates who have minimum size limits, our franchisees can take any size of business from 30 managed up to 600 managed and beyond” Wilson adds.


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