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Irish agency giant Sherry Fitzgerald mulls return to mainland UK

Industry behemoth, which has 100 branches in Ireland, says proposal is part of aggressive expansion plans to be implemented over the next five years.

Nigel Lewis

sherry fitzgerald branch

Ireland’s largest and best-known estate agency Sherry Fitzgerald is mulling a return to mainland Britain ten years after it exited following the sale of Marsh & Parsons to LSL.

The Irish firm, which this week opened its 100th office, already operates within the UK via its part-ownership of a Northern Irish estate agency, but since 2011 has kept away from the mainland.

But its chief executive Steven McKenna has revealed that the company is now considering a move over the Irish Sea as the company looks to begin a significant period of expansion.

McKenna has instructed PwC to advise on options to secure private equity investment to help fund the 40-year-old company’s growth over the next five years, the Irish Times reports.

Growth

“We are looking at investment options to support the ambitious growth strategies that we have and to accelerate that growth. We have to plan for the future,” he told the paper.

This includes ramping up its mortgage broking operation via a big investment in technology and also plans to consolidate its position as the leading seller of new homes in Ireland.

mark fitzgerald

As part of plans to attract investors, 65-year-old co-founder and chairman Mark Fitzgerald (pictured) is to relinquish a slice of his 50% share of the company’s equity in order to sweeten an investment deal.

The estate agency’s previous foray into the UK was a profitable one. It backed the 2005 management buyout of Marsh & Parsons by Peter Rollins and Liza-Jane Kelly, tasking the pair with growing the company from seven branches to 27, before selling to LSL for £50 million. It now has 33 branches including its latest in Streatham, SW London.

September 17, 2021

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