Yorkshire residential lettings firm Linley & Simpson has merged with Lomond Capital to create a national lettings and estate agency group.

The venture 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.

Stuart Pender, group chief executive of Lomond Capital, said: “Lettings and estate agents are facing an increasingly complex regulatory environment and challenging trading conditions.

“We have had significant success in bringing together and supporting good quality regional agents under one operating model whilst maintaining a local, on the ground approach which together has delivered significant benefits to landlords and tenants.

“Market conditions in the private rental sector are well suited to continued growth through consolidation.

“We are looking to continue to consolidate regional markets, whilst at the same time enhancing the proposition the sector offers to clients, through our network of market leading regional agents.”

It brings together estate agency names on the UK High Street, including Linley & Simpson, Thornley Groves, Brand Vaughan, John Shepherd, Stonehouse and Braemore.

All local brands will continue to operate in their respective regions.

The company will now look to extend its nationwide network through strategic acquisitions and organic growth.

The new group said increased regulation, the recent abolition of tenant fees, a fall in sales market in recent years and an ageing ownership profile have all driven consolidation opportunities in the private rental sector.

The deal has the backing of leading private equity firm LDC, with access to further acquisition investment provided by LGT Capital Partners.

Co-founder and CEO of Linley & Simpson, Will Linley, will join the board as group managing director with a focus on delivering the group’s ambitious acquisitive growth strategy. Nick Simpson will become CEO of Yorkshire and Martin Elliott CFO.

Linley added: “This transaction is a continuation of our approach to building our business while retaining our successful local approach. We are seeking fresh opportunities to work with new lettings and estate agencies.

“We’re excited about the opportunities in each of the Lomond regions and I’m looking forward to working closely with Stuart, the Lomond team and LDC to help grow the new group.”

IDX Real Estate