Fast-growing estate agency completes 54th acquisition in three years

Lomond has completed the acquisition of HOP Lettings in Yorkshire, marking the 54th acquisition since launching just three years ago.

The move will see HOP Lettings operate as part of Lomond’s Linley and Simpson brand, a business that already has a significant foothold within the region with 23 branches.

The direct acquisition of HOP Lettings will add an additional 861 residential properties to the firm’s lettings book – around 300 of which are student properties.

Given that Linley and Simpson already has a lettings book of 14,400 properties, the acquisition will push them beyond the 15,000 property threshold.

However, the acquisition of HOP Students also provides the firm with an opportunity to expand its student offering to the Leeds area, having already established a foothold within the student market in York with the purchase of Sinclair Properties in 2021.

The existing HOP Students business adds an additional 300 student properties to Lomond’s extensive national portfolio, and will continue to operate from the existing Leeds city centre office, with the same team.

Lomond CEO, Ed Phillips, commented: “Our aggressive growth strategy has focussed on acquiring some of the best regional businesses across the nation’s fastest growing property markets and this latest acquisition is no different.

“The acquisition of HOP will allow us to further strengthen our Linley and Simpson brand, a brand which already has a sizable presence within the region.”

The CEO of Linley and Simpson, Martin Elliott, said: “Not only does the acquisition of the HOP businesses further build on our extensive residential lettings portfolio, but it also allows us to build on the existing foundations we’ve laid within the student rental market.

“Like York, Leeds is an extremely popular university town and one that is home to high demand for student lets. Establishing a student base within the city itself was an important part of our growth strategy; the acquisition of HOP Students allows us to do this immediately.”

The owner and founder of HOP, Luke Gidney, added: “I have always had an excellent relationship with Linley and Simpson, and great respect for what they do, so when the time came for myself and my family to exit the business, we knew they would be a great fit for HOP.

“This strategic move will have a big impact on the wider market and gives Linley & Simpson an exciting opportunity to enter the thriving student rental sector in Leeds. We know that our loyal clients and fantastic staff will be in very safe hands.

“I would like to say a huge thank you to the team at HOP for all their hard work over the last 15 years, the business wouldn’t be where it is today without them. I wish them all the best for the future and look forward to watching its continued success in this next chapter.”

LDC, the private equity group which is part of Lloyds Banking Group, backed the creation of Lomond in December 2020, merging Lomond Capital and Linley & Simpson. The firm continues to work closely with the management team to support Lomond’s successful buy and build strategy.

Gareth Marshall, head of the North East and Scotland at LDC, commented: “Lomond continues to show why an acquisitive growth strategy is such an effective way for businesses to expand their geographic footprint at pace.

“We first invested in Linley & Simpson back in 2018, so it’s brilliant to see the now national lettings and estate agency group celebrate such an important milestone in Yorkshire. We’re looking forward to supporting Ed and the team as they build on this momentum in the months ahead.”

The acquisition of HOP Lettings is the first since the Lomond estate agency group was put up for sale.


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