Farley Group, best known for its Kensington and Chelsea estate agents Farley & Co, has acquired the country house estate agents Humberts with 39 branches spread across England.
Humberts is an independent national firm of estate agents providing expertise in the residential, rural, commercial and professional services field.
The residential department handles all types of property including country houses, farms, estates, equestrian properties and new homes.
Since listing on the Alternative Investment Market in 2003, Farley Group as raised a further 8m for its expansion programmes. This acquisition of Humberts is the first step within the companys growth plan.
At the same time Farley Group has appointed Max Ziff as chief executive. With experience in corporate finance gained at Warburg and Deutsche Bank, Ziff will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day running of the groups affairs and finance function. Patricia Farley, managing director of Farley & Co is also a director of Farley Group.
Ziff says: We have a programme of rapid growth for the Farleys brand within London and for the Humberts brand throughout the rest of the country. This will be a tremendous and exciting challenge and we are talking to a large number of existing businesses who are interested in joining our platform and who share our vision for high-end quality service and integrity, words not often associated with the estate agency business.
John Husband, senior partner of Humberts, says: This is an important development in the long history of our firm, bringing with it major opportunities for expansion of our established business and enabling us to work closely with Farley Groups successful London practice which is entirely complementary to our own.
Nigel Cartwright has also been appointed as chief financial officer. Cartwright was previously finance director at Fitness First where he grew the company from a handful of branches to over 300.
Farley Group has also announced the acquisition of London Overseas Property Search. LOPS is a high-end residential lettings business that operates primarily in the Royal Borough if Kensington & Chelsea and adds a further 40 properties to Farley Groups client base. It is anticipated that the business of LOPS will be absorbed within the companys current lettings operation and it is expected to be an earnings enhancing from the outset.