The deal gives Leaders their first ever branches in Chelmsford, Braintree, Colchester, Dovercourt and Clacton-on-Sea; the company’s total network now spans 115 offices across the country.
“We have been known for our expertise in the lettings market for more than three decades and in recent years our sales business has also grown at a rapid rate, giving us a similarly strong reputation in this area. This acquisition will allow us to continue to roll out our range of services to sellers and landlords,” he added.
Many of More’s members of staff, including Co-Owner Dean Phillips, will remain with the firm, having joined Leaders under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006, otherwise known as TUPE. This should help Leaders get off to a strong start in developing their sales service in Essex, according to Shaw.
Leaders’ arrival in Essex comes on the back of a busy 2015 in which it entered five counties for the first time – Worcestershire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Warwickshire. The firm spent more than £25 million on 11 acquisitions and 32 new branches last year.
Shaw added, “Our expansion plans remain on track and we look forward to reaching more parts of the UK and opening many new branches over the course of 2016. We expect to complete further acquisitions in the coming weeks and anybody who is interested in selling their sales or lettings business is advised to get in touch.”
Countrywide is another firm that has significantly increased its regional UK footprint in more recent times.
The company acquired 30 lettings businesses in 2015, as part of its growth strategy, including Property Links in Plymouth, JK Lettings in Cornwall, Wyse Lettings in Torquay, HE Lettings and Ian Peat in Lincoln and the large portfolio of Woods Estate Agents in Bristol and North Somerset. Further acquisitions include the portfolio of Vanet Property Asset Management in Docklands and Canary Wharf, Letters of Distinction and Bulmers Letting in Yorkshire, QMH in Croydon and JP & Brimelow Ltd in Didsbury, Witherington and Chorlton.
In November, Countrywide also acquired John Francis, one of Wales’s largest property agent networks and Liverpool’s renowned Clive Watkin and Sutton Kersh.
“The businesses that we bought in 2015 fit perfectly within our selective acquisitions retail strategy, which focuses on expanding our regional footprint across the UK,” said Sam Tyrer, MD for Retail at Countrywide.