Spicerhaart has confirmed its acquisition of large regional firm butters john bee, as reported by EYE yesterday.
The price has not been disclosed.
The deal takes the number of Spicerhaart branches to over 200 and employee headcount to over 2,000.
The management team at butters john bee will remain the same, led by managing director James Beardmore, and the business will continue to trade under its current name.
Spicerhaart was at pains to say that the acquisition underlines Spicerhaart’s commitment to the traditional high street agency model and is the first of several planned acquisitions.
Paul Smith, Spicerhaart’s CEO, said that he is actively looking to acquire other successful brands with a £20m war chest. He made it clear he is not interested in any online firms.
Butters john bee joins other brands in the Spicerhaart Group which are currently haart, Felicity J Lord, Darlows, Chewton Rose and Haybrook, as well as mortgages business Just Mortgages.
Butters john bee has 19 offices, all offering estate agency, lettings and financial services, across Staffordshire, Shropshire and the west midlands.
The agency is a regional market leader in both the residential and commercial property space and was recently named Best Regional Agency Group at the ESTAs for the third year running.
Butters john bee was founded in 1856 by Charles Butters in Hanley, Stoke on Trent, and is one of the oldest estate agents in the UK. The agency’s HQ remains in Stoke.
The deal sees Spicerhaart expand its operations into the west midlands and north-west where it has not had a presence, as well as boost the group’s expertise in commercial surveying and auctions.
Spicerhaart said it is particularly interested in acquiring successful brands across the south coast, London, Bristol, the west midlands and Manchester, as well as areas where Spicerhaart has a presence.
Spicerhaart said its recent survey of over 2,000 consumers found that more than 90% of people would like to see the high street agency model continue.
When asked what they deem as the most important quality for an estate agency, 60% said having someone you can trust, 46% said knowledge of the local area and 35% said having a branch with people that you can speak to face-to-face.
Paul Smith said: “I am delighted to welcome the butters john bee family to the Spicerhaart Group. The agency has a strong heritage and an excellent track record.
“We do not believe in robotic internet models and are sticking true to our roots of traditional high street estate agency.
“There will always be a place for well-run local estate agents, and having a local agent with expert knowledge of the local area remains important for both buyers and sellers when it comes to dealing with their most valuable asset.”
James Beardmore said: “We are incredibly excited to be joining the Spicerhaart Group and to start a new chapter in our long history.
“We have been working across the region for 150 years, and pride ourselves on being local experts and a trusted brand.
“The size, strength and ambitions of the Spicerhaart Group are evidence that high street agencies are still the preferred option for the majority of buyers and sellers.
“I look forward to seeing the Spicerhaart Group and butters john bee continue to grow in the years to come.”