The champagne will have been popping last night at the home of Richard and Kathryn Martin (above), who as a couple are the major shareholders in The Property Franchise Group (TPFG), owners of several key high street brands including Martin & Co and CJ Hole.
TPFG revealed to the London Stock Exchange yesterday that Kathryn Martin has sold 1.3 million of her shares which, before tax, will be worth £1.97 million.
Following this sale Richard and his wife who are both in their late 60s still hold 8.89 million shares in TPFG, representing approximately 34% of the company’s issued share capital.
This leaves them with holdings worth over £13 million at today’s share price of £1.47p. Other shareholders include MD Ian Wilson, CFO David Ragett and non-exec director Paul Latham.
The Martins are the founders of the company and opened the first office of Martin & Co in 1986 in Yeovil and then spent the next 30 years building the business up to a 300-branch chain.
Its biggest growth spurt came in 1993 when Richard decided to adopt a franchise model for Martin & Co after reading a book about the global success of McDonalds.
In 2013 the company floated on the stock market as TPFG and used the proceeds of its IPO to buy rival the Xperience property group, which operated brands CJ Hole, Ellis and Co, Parkers and Whitegates.
In late 2017 TPFG rebuffed an ultimately unsuccessful attempt by Belvoir to merge the two businesses.