Independent estate agent sells to Countrywide in eye-popping deal

The iconic, cutting-edge and sometimes controversial agent Greene & Co has been bought by Countrywide.

The firm, which found fame on television, has been bought for an undisclosed sum.

However, Eye understands that the sum paid by Countrywide, in a deal led by Hamptons, is at the very top of the range.

Sources describe the figure as “full fat”  and “eye popping” and say that a second corporate bidder baulked at paying the sum.

Late yesterday afternoon, branches at Greene & Co shut while staff were told of the news. See picture below.

They were also apparently told that founder David Pollock is stepping down as of today, as has now been confirmed.

The deal comes just one day after commentators laid bare the devastation wrought in the London property market in the run-up to election outcome uncertainty. However, with today’s result, of a Tory victory, the acquisition will undoubtedly be putting a large smile on Countrywide’s face.

The London business of Greene & Co, founded 30 years ago, has gained a cutting-edge reputation, carving out its name in places that were initially far from fashionable.

It has seven offices in West Hampstead, Maida Vale, Crouch End, Belsize Park, Clerkenwell, Kensall Rise and Queen’s Park. It also trades as Urban Spaces, which is part of the sale.

Yesterday evening, staff were sent an email saying that Greene & Co is “a fantastic geographic fit … that will provide a natural link with Hamptons branches in north and central London”.

The Greene & Co brand will stay for the moment. However, it is understood that a new identity will tie it in with Hamptons and could be ‘Greene & Co from Hamptons’ or similar.

The email said that the company management team will remain in place, reporting direct to Phil Tennant, the chief operating officer at Hamptons, “as an interim measure”.

The email is signed by Marc Goldberg, Lesley Cairns and Phil Tennant, but makes no mention of Pollock.

The firm famously appeared in a six-part fly-on-the-wall TV documentary about estate agents in 2004 and featured an away day to a pub in Wales for staff training purposes.

Greene & Co went on to attract controversy when six members of staff were prosecuted over car parking permits. They had used addresses of flats they were selling to fraudulently apply for residents’ permits.

However, the firm has gained plaudits for its expansion strategy and the way it has associated itself with ultra-cool design.

It has also won employer awards, including the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For.

Staff get days off on their birthdays, plus life coaching.

The firm, which works across a diverse area in London, has staff members who between them can speak 16 different languages.

greene & co

 

More top news stories

Four in ten letting agents thought of giving up as fees ban threatened income and profits

Continue Reading ...
x

Email the story to a friend

14 Comments

  1. Jonnie

    Countrywide just don’t understand,  it’s all goin’ online  innit! The consumer doesn’t want these poncy high street branches and expensive people with their pointless knowledge of the local area, selling online will save them fhasands, if everyone in London used a cutting edge, disruptive, technology focussed game changing online agent they would have saved 90 billion £ last week alone.

    Madness – Jonnie

    Report
    1. PeeBee

      Oh, Jonnie – people just aren’t ‘getting’ your posts at the minute.

      Keep them up, matey – for me they are the best stress pill on the market! ;o)

      Report
      1. Jonnie

        PeeBee,

        a lot of dislikes but Wilko surprised me!

        Jonnie

        Report
        1. PeeBee

          Jonnie, mate – bu99er the dislikers! ;o)

          As for wilko – read his post again and think ‘Jonnie’.

          Got me too the first reading – as seen by my first comment!

          Or… am I wrong…?

          The wee minx that he is…

          Report
          1. Ric

            Haha… love this thread…… no really I do.

            Report
    2. jmeapps01

      Jonnie come lately. Hahaha. Too lately me thinks!!!!

      Report
  2. Estate Agent W1

    The business may be going on-line for the independents but the corporates will stay on the High Street, a good deal for both parties irrespective of price.

    Report
    1. wilko

      I couldn’t agree more…..that Jonnie character jolly well doesn’t know what he’s talking about…..from his post this morning he looks like he needs some lessons in English as well !!!!!!!!! Nice to have a W1 agent contributing……much more in line with the tone of this forum.

      Report
      1. PeeBee

        Oh, wilko… you’ve got it so wrong on so many levels with this post.

        May I suggest you take a few minutes out and look up ‘sarcasm’, ‘irony’ and ‘misunderstanding’.

        “Nice to have a W1 agent contributing……much more in line with the tone of this forum.”  LOL – two weeks ago the spotlight was fixed on  Brixton’s ‘gentrification’ – this week EYE gets a better class of poster.

        Well sorry but I ain’t taking my flat cap and whippet anywhere.

        I’ll just continue to bring you lot all down to my level.

        Report
        1. PeeBee

          Erm… hang on.  ‘Stick’… ‘end’… ‘wrong’, perhaps?

          Note to self…

          “Look up ‘sarcasm’, ‘irony’, and ‘misunderstanding’.”

          Oh – and send a bunch of roses to wilko as a “sorry”…

          Report
          1. Robert May

            Really?  how 1950’s is  the concept of flowers as an aopology?

            Some of us aren’t surprised!!!

            Report
          2. wilko

            I wasn’t about yesterday, couldn’t believe both of your posts (I read them 6 times to see if it was a triple bluff in the making)…..since when have I used phrases like “jolly well” …..Less haste more speed gentlemen.

            Report
            1. PeeBee

               

              I was seeing red over other posts and your doubler flew straight past at Mach 6, mate.

              Sorrreeee – I should have known better.  I hope you liked the roses…

              Maybe I should take my flat cap & whippet down ‘That Laahndon’.  I reckon the place is ripe for Geordiefication – what you reckon?

              Report
  3. MemyselfandI

    Thats another company they can drive into the ground then. Any competitors nearby should start circling around and picking off the best staff.

    Report
X

You must be logged in to report this comment!

Leave a reply

Thank you for signing up to our newsletter, we have sent you an email asking you to confirm your subscription. Additionally if you would like to create a free EYE account which allows you to comment on news stories and manage your email subscriptions please enter a password below.