UK property services and real estate agency giant Connells Group has acquired another OnTheMarket (OTM) member, the north eastern regional estate agency Rook Matthews Sayer.
With 16 branches operating across Newcastle, Tyneside and Northumberland, Rook Matthews Sayer is a leading estate agency and a Gold member of online property business OnTheMarket.
Property Industry Eye reports Rook Matthews Sayer Co Founder Clive Rook is also former OnTheMarket director.
The move follows the purchase by Connells of the Gascoigne Halman chain last year which attempted to leave OTM for Zoopla. However, OTM took steps to enforce its contract under the "one other portal" rule.
In an earlier report the firm told EYE that its acquisition by Connells – a stakeholder in Zoopla – meant that its departure from OTM was inevitable.
But OTM took legal action to prevent Gascoigne Halman listing its properties on Zoopla's PrimeLocation site as well as on Rightmove, forcing the company to remove its listings from Zoopla.
“Gascoigne Halman remains a valued member of Agents’ Mutual and is complying with its contractual agreements to pay a monthly subscription fee and to list its properties at OnTheMarket.com and a maximum of one other portal, which continues to be Rightmove,” OTM said at the time.
The acquisition of Rook Matthews Sayer by Connells Group takes its high street network to over 560 branches nationwide and provides a platform for the Group’s expansion into this region.
Founded in 1990 the business is well-established and successful, offering residential sales and lettings together with professional services.
It will continue to trade under its existing name.
In its report, Property Industry Eye says founders Clive Rook, Rod Matthews and Richard Sayer will retire from the business on completion and current director Janet Walker will become managing director to lead the company’s 130 employees in developing and expanding the business.
“This is our largest and most significant acquisition in 2016 and signals that the Group remains in expansive mode this year,” Connells Group Estate Agency Chief Executive David Plumtree tells EYE.
“By incorporating Rook Matthews Sayer into our network, we fill a geographical gap in our portfolio which allows us to extend our market leading proposition into new geographical markets.
“We look forward to working with Janet and the team to marry their local expertise with our national strength and in order to expand the brand further and take Rook Matthews Sayer to its next stage of growth.”
EYE also notes Connells Group recently announced an excellent set of annual financial results highlighting the Group’s financial strength and ambition to grow further following a string of estate agency and lettings business acquisitions in 2015, most notably the acquisition of 18-branch estate agency Gascoigne Halman and online estate agency Hatched.