Murtagh says he has made a bid for the network which would mean all the network’s liabilities and broker commissions would be paid, but he has told Mortgage Strategy that another offer is on the table but will only be made if the network first goes into administration.
LSL Property Services is also believed to be a name in the frame and looking at acquiring the network.
Murtagh would not reveal how much he has bid for Home of Choice but says it is the asking price requested by the network’s majority shareholder Lloyds Banking Group.
If successful he says he would cut costs at the network, including some of the directors and make it into a profitable business.
He is currently applying to the FSA to change the network’s permissions but says this could take two or three days which he has been told by Home of Choice’s directors is too long.
He says: “My bid allows the network to stay out of administration but I have been told part of the reason it has not been accepted is because it is unclear how long it will take for the change in FSA permission to be processed. However I have spoken to the FSA and it has said this can be done within two to three days.”
Between 1995 and 2004 Murtagh built The Mortgage Group into the UK’s largest specialist mortgage broker, with over 800 staff he then sold the company to GE Money in 2004.
Murtagh set up The Money Group, based on a similar business model to The Mortgage Group. The Money Group specialises in remortgages and debt management. He has also recently acquired Manchester based companies Bollin Finance and Advanced Debt Solutions, and his business interests are being rebranded as Fresh Start Finance.
More to follow..