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LSL poised to snap up Halifax branches

LSL Property Services is understood to be in the final stages of due diligence on Halifax Estate Agencies' branches.

In a statement issued from Lloyds today, the group confirms that it is in discussions with LSL about the possible sale of the business, which it bought as part of the acquisition of HBoS earlier this year. Halifax Estate Agencies has 218 offices, including 93 franchise operations across the UK.

It is understood that the proposed deal is for the agencies' branches and not the counters.

London Stock Exchange-listed LSL comprises estate agencies and surveying businesses acquired by General Accident between 1985 and 1988. The estate agency division was rebranded as General Accident Property Services and the surveying operations were rebranded General Accident Valuation Services until November 1999, when the estate agency business was rebranded as Your Move and the surveying business was rebranded as e.surv.

Following the merger of General Accident and Commercial Union in 2000 and the later merger with Norwich Union, management bought out Your Move and e.surv in July 2004, creating the LSL group, which now also includes Reeds Rains and Intercounty agencies, plus Home Inspectors, Linear Mortgage Network, Homefast, Barnwoods, Chancellors Associates and Linear Financial Services.

A spokesman for LSL confirms that the group is in discussions with Lloyds Banking Group, which may or may not lead to the acquisition of Halifax Estate Agencies.

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