Clearwater International has advised private equity firm LDC on backing the merger of Lomond Capital and Linley & Simpson in a £100m transaction, which will create a new national lettings and estate agency group.
Established in 2010, Lomond Capital manages residential properties worth in excess of £2.7bn and sells more than £750m worth of property per annum. Linley & Simpson is a well-established Yorkshire letting agency, managing over 10,000 properties across a network of 22 branches.
Both businesses have driven success through different growth strategies. Lomond has invested in developing a regional platform by building a presence in some of the most attractive UK cities for private renters. Linley & Simpson, already backed by LDC since 2018, adopted an ambitious acquisition strategy across the Yorkshire region.
The new group has a combined portfolio of over 22,000 properties under management and major hubs in private rental hotspots including Aberdeen, Birmingham, Brighton, Edinburgh, Hull, Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield and York.
Following the transaction, the group brings together some of the UK’s strongest high street letting and estate agency brands including Linley & Simpson, Thornley Groves, Brand Vaughan, John Shepherd, Stonehouse and Braemore. The combined business will now look to strengthen its nationwide network through complementary acquisitions and organic growth, through access to further acquisition facilities provided by LGT Capital Partners and Santander, which was arranged by Clearwater International’s Debt Advisory team.
The Clearwater International team consisted of Richard Goldsack, James Croxen and Shahbaz Qasim (M&A) and Glenn Clarke and Tom Barnwell (Debt Advisory)
Gareth Marshall, Head of the North East, LDC, said: “From our partnership with Will Linley and Nick Simpson over the past two years, we know the potential for ambitious businesses in this sector to grow quickly. We’ve supported them to make 18 acquisitions and we’re looking forward to helping the new group to expand quickly with its best-in-class multi-regional model. The residential lettings market offers an attractive opportunity for geographical expansion and we’re confident that the combination of Linley & Simpson’s and Lomond Capital’s impressive management teams and approach will complement each other perfectly for further growth.“
Stuart Pender, Group CEO, said: “Market conditions in the private rental sector are well suited to continued growth through consolidation. We are consolidating fragmented regional markets, enhancing the proposition the sector offers to clients and maintaining a local, on-the-ground approach which brings significant benefits to landlords and tenants. We will blend the best of both companies through this merger, which together with the backing of LDC and LGT Capital Partners will allow us to realise our ambitious plans for the UK’s residential lettings sector.”
Richard Goldsack, Partner, Clearwater International, said: “It has been a pleasure to work with LDC to secure the combination of Lomond Capital and Linley & Simpson and arrange appropriate debt facilities to enable the business to continue to grow via acquisition. We are confident the combined business will benefit from the expertise of the respective businesses and LDC’s backing and we would like to wish the entire team all the best.”