The purchase of property data specialist company, TM Group by the Canadian software giant Dye & Durham has been declared by the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) to be anti-competitive, in a disastrous turn of events. The CMA is now ordering Dye & Durham to sell TM Group to a third party.
TM Group is best known to agents for its sales progression software, Mio.
The sale was made without referral to the CMA but once completed, the CMA became aware of the sale and began its investigation. It published initial notices in September last year.
TM Group (TMG) was sold to Dye & Durham back in July 2021 by LSL and Connells, who were joint owners of the company, for a staggering £90m.
At the time, David Livesey (pictured, right), Connells Group CEO said, “We are proud of the business that we built and which is set for further development under the ownership of Dye & Durham. They are the ideal acquirer for TM, enabling it to evolve as part of a global operation and providing a good fit alongside the stable of specialist businesses that they are assembling.” Clearly that was too good a fit for the CMA.
The CMA also asserts that the only effective way to address the issues it has identified would be for Dye & Durham to sell TMG to a third party.”
A statement published yesterday by Dye & Durham, said, “The CMA has provisionally found that Dye & Durham’s acquisition of TMG, which closed in July 2021, would lessen competition in the UK property search services market. The CMA also asserts that the only effective way to address the issues it has identified would be for Dye & Durham to sell TMG to a third party.
“Lastly, the CMA press release gives the erroneous impression that Dye & Durham failed to notify the CMA regarding the transaction when in fact there was no obligation to do so under applicable UK law, which provides only for voluntary notification.”
It went on to say, “Dye & Durham disagrees with the CMA’s provisional findings and is evaluating its potential options. Dye & Durham complies with all laws and regulations in every market in which it operates. The Company has exercised every best effort to help the CMA with its review of the transaction, explain its benefits and offer a remedy proposal and is ready to continue to work collaboratively with the CMA going forward.”