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Legal & General sells estate agency arm

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  • 03/11/2014
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Legal & General sells estate agency arm
AIM-listed property franchise business Martin & Co has bought the entire issued share capital of Xperience, Legal & General's estate agency and lettings franchise business.

Martin & Co bought Xperience, comprising Xperience Franchising and Whitegates Estates Agency Limited for a consideration of £5.0m in cash plus an amount representing the net assets of Xperience at completion, expected to be approximately £1m in cash.

Xperience has 89 offices and 75 franchisees, including high street brands, CJ Hole, Ellis and Co, Parkers and Whitegates, with all financial services arms offered by Legal & General.

The Martin & Co group has entered into a 10 year financial services agreement with Legal & General under which Legal & General provides the Group’s franchisees with access to whole of market mortgage products, life assurance and general insurance products.

Martin & Co. now comprises 282 franchised offices and one company-owned office, has five estate agency brands and is trading in an additional 44 franchise areas.

Xperience brings over 11,000 tenanted, managed properties, increasing the Group total to over 43,000.

Stephen Smith, L&G’s director of housing and mortgage club, said the deal is an enhancement of the life insurer’s presence in the marketplace as Martin & Co don’t offer financial services right now.

“This move gives us a touch point out to the UK estate agency market, we just won’t be offering services directly,” said Smith.

Ian Wilson, chief executive of Martin & Co, said: “This acquisition of the entire property franchise business of Legal & General is a significant step forward in the group’s development and was made possible by our IPO and fundraising in 2013.”

He added: “I’m delighted to welcome Michael Stoop, Xperience’s managing director, who has a lifetime of estate agency and franchising experience, as our new group managing director”.

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