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MDA closes Richards Gray doors and puts 90+ staff on notice period

MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates, the Canada-based information provider, is understood to have closed two of the offices of Richards Gray, the Home Information Pack and search provider it acquired in March.

More than 90 staff are understood to have been put on a three-month notice period.

A source close to Richards Gray has confirmed that managing director Mike Richards (pictured) and his son Lee Richards, who is business development director for the firm, will be part of the redundancies. The source says the Richards Gray brand will remain but adds: "It has been a family business since it was founded in the late 1988. This effectively means the end of Richards Gray."

The two Twyford-based offices in Berkshire are understood to house Richards Gray's HIP and search production teams.

It is understood that search production will now be managed by SearchFlow, a separate search firm also owned by MDA, while the HIPs business will be integrated into MDA's existing operations.

The closures come just two weeks since the announced closure of HIP Payment Services and follow market predictions about a contraction of the HIPs market, in line with the slowdown in property sales activity.

In a statement issued this week, Richards Gray states: "Everyone's aware that the property market isn't strong at the moment, and this is having an impact on all the companies in our sector. Voluntary redundancies are one of the proposals that are on the table at the moment, but with three months of discussions ahead of us, it would be wrong to comment further at this stage."

MDA was unavailable for comment.

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