Almost a year after its £50m management buyout, backed by private equity firm Bowmark Capital, ambitious Romans has expanded again.
The Berkshire-based firm – thought by many to have its sights on an eventual stock market flotation which would hand the equity firm back all or part of its investment with interest – has set its sights on the Crossrail route.
It has bought Sherriff Mountford’s two estate and letting branches in Burnham and Farnham Common, Buckinghamshire, for an undisclosed sum.
This deal comes two months after the acquisitions of Jacksons Residential in Henley-on-Thames, and Caroline Clark & Associates in Sunninghill.
Last September, after the management buyout led by Peter Coles, it was announced that Bowmark would be providing “significant additional capital to support the roll-out of new offices and future acquisitions”.
There have since been seven successful acquisitions and a £12m finance facility from bankers available for more business purchases.
The Sherriff Mountford acquisition is Romans’ first foray into Buckinghamshire but the firm made clear it will not be its last.
Paul Sherriff said of his decision to sell to the firm: “Romans’ knowledge and experience stood out to me and they share the same key principles that we value the most – offering professional and expert advice on the local property market.
“Their recent growth and ongoing success made it clear to me that this would be a smooth acquisition that would really benefit my clients.”
Peter Fuller, managing director of Romans Lettings, said: “We are predicting a lot more activity specifically in Burnham over the coming years due to Crossrail, so it’s an exciting time for us to expand our local network and move into these new, desirable areas.
“With our extensive acquisition experience in the local area, capacity and financing facility, we are ready and able to consider any acquisition opportunity, and plan to accelerate our rate of growth this year and in the years to come.”
He said Romans is actively looking to expand throughout Berkshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey and Buckinghamshire.
Romans was founded in 1987 with a single branch in Bracknell. By the time of the management buyout, it had 18 branches plus a town planning firm with five regional offices. It won the Times and Sunday Times Estate Agency of the Year award two years running.
As well as Romans, Bowmark also backs fast-growing lettings firm Leaders.
Pictured are Paul Sherriff, left, with Vincent Courtney, managing director of residential sales at Romans.