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Halifax sells its estate agencies for £1

publication date: Oct 16, 2009
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Halifax £1 sell offLSL Property Services PLC has agreed to buy all 218 Halifax Estate Agents branches for £1. The Halifax name is not part of the deal and will disappear in the new year when all the branches will be rebranded as Your Move, Reeds Rains or Intercounty.

Halifax Estate Agents (HEA) is currently owned by Lloyds Banking Group and the sale “follows a strategic review undertaken by the group which concluded that an estate agency operation is no longer integral to its business model,” the bank said. The sale will also mean the closure of 121 banking counters inside the estate agency offices with the potential loss of 460 jobs.

The purchase by LSL will make the company the second largest estate agency network in the UK, following its purchase of Reeds Rains in 2005 and more recently Chartered Surveyors, Barnwoods and Chancellors.

The 218 branches include 93 franchise branches; the franchisees will be offered favourable LSL packages and incentives. LSL will also acquire HEA's Asset Management business in which it intends to invest and operate independently of the existing LSL Corporate Client business under the leadership of Managing Director, Ian Long, who has already managed the business for HEA.

It is expected that the majority of HEA staff will be retained by LSL including around 130 mortgage consultants which confirms LSL’s commitment to growth and development in this area and adds to its existing recruitment drive for consultants.

Simon Embley CEO LSL PropertySimon Embley, Chief Executive Officer of LSL commented:
“The purchase of HEA heralds a significant step forward in the growth of LSL and its associated estate agency businesses. It enables us not only to expand our residential sales and lettings businesses but also strengthens our position in different markets like New Homes - utilising the existing expertise and knowledge of HEA staff in these areas.

“We will also be adopting a corporate business unit as part of the acquisition but this will be entirely separate from LSL’s existing, highly successful, Corporate Client Department.

“Having weathered the storms of recent times we have continued to grow operating profits and now have the stability and durability to succeed - this latest acquisition confirms our commitment to growth and we look forward to embracing the significant business opportunities this presents to us."