Leaders bolsters empire with Accent deal
Leaders has taken a huge stride along its expansion road with the acquisition of Accent Property Management for an undisclosed sum.
The Cambridge-based acquisition is the biggest of the six deals the Worthing, West Sussex-based firm has undertaken since its £48m restructure in March and will give it its 46th branch.
As The Negotiator revealed in March, as part of the restructure private equity firm Bowmark Capital stumped up £21.2m to fund a management buy-out and further acquisitions.
Accent’s 10-strong team is currently located within the Cambridge headquarters of its parent company Chard Robinson, but is expected to relocate to a nearby commercial unit by the end of the year.
Speaking exclusively to The Negotiator, Leaders managing director, Paul Weller, says: “Cambridge seems to be in its own little bubble in the economic cycle and seems to have been a lot less affected by the recession than other areas.
“But what really surprised us is that a lot of the tenants are young professionals, not students as we thought, who are drawn by the high-tech community.”
Chard Robinson director Stephen Chard, who first approached Weller about the deal earlier this year, says the sale stems from a desire to focus on the group’s block management business, Encore Estate Management, which was launched five years ago. He adds: “Block and property management’s blossomed and just got bigger and bigger, and has been stretching our resources both professionally and personally.”
Weller plans to retain the Accent brand and invest £100,000 in refurbishing the firm’s new office. He says he will now concentrate on identifying further acquisition targets in and around Cambridge.
A Hampshire-based deal is expected to complete this month and six further deals are at various stages of negotiation.
Pic cap: Back (l-r): Stephen Chard, Neil Robinson, Leaders business development director Richard Churchill and Paul Weller. Front: Accent general manager Sarah Cox
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