"Already, we are eyeing further acquisition opportunities in the area. That underlines the confidence we have in investing in its future"
Will Linley, Chief Executive, Linley Simpson
AN independent Yorkshire residential letting agent has broken new ground by extending into Humberside for the first time, after striking a major acquisition deal.
Linley & Simpson, which operates 17 branches across West and North Yorkshire, is launching an office in Hull following its purchase of the lettings arm of Beercocks, the long-established family-run agency.
The deal has transferred almost 500 properties into Linley & Simpson’s own rental portfolio, which now stands at 8,700 homes.
The Beercocks network of nine offices will now focus exclusively on developing its award-winning residential sales specialism.
“While Linley & Simpson may be a new name for Hull and its surrounding communities, our pedigree in residential lettings spans more than 22 years,” said its Chief Executive and co-founder, Will Linley.
“We have a passion for property and a commitment to customer care, and look forward to bringing our expertise to Hull for the benefit of new and existing clients.
“To have acquired the lettings arm of a market-leading agency of Beercocks’ calibre provides us with the best possible launchpad on which to build.
He added: “We are thrilled to launch in Hull at a time when its appeal for landlords and tenants is growing – last year it was named as the third-most improved UK city as a place to live and work. It has long been a strategic target for expansion.
“Its population is at its highest for more than two decades, with the number of people in their mid-20s to mid-30s – an age group particularly attracted to the advantages of renting – the fastest-growing trend.
“Already, we are eyeing further acquisition opportunities in the area. That underlines the confidence we have in investing in its future, and consolidating and widening our presence across the district.”
Beercocks’ origins date to the turn of the millennium when it launched as Beercock, Wiles & Wick. Its current Managing Director, Bob Beercock, said the agency would now concentrate its skills on residential sales across its heartland of Hull, Beverley, the East Riding of Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire.
Going forward, Linley & Simpson and Beercocks will be working in close collaboration to give the one million people living in Hull and its immediate hinterland the best of both worlds – the former specialising in lettings, and the latter dedicated to sales.
Short-term, Linley & Simpson will operate from within the Newland Avenue headquarters of Beercocks, before launching its own branded branch in different premises as soon as possible in the New Year. It is retaining Beercocks’ frontline lettings team to ensure a seamless transition.
The acquisition – completed for an undisclosed sum – is the 9th to take place since Linley & Simpson secured the backing of LDC, the UK’s leading mid-market private equity investor, in June 2018 to accelerate its growth plans.
Gareth Marshall, Investment Director at LDC in Yorkshire & North East, added: “While on the face of it this deal represents the business dipping its toe into the Hull market, we have no doubt that it will lead to a far bigger expansion of its offering across Humberside.”
Founded in Leeds by Will Linley and Nick Simpson in 1997 with just two branches and a handful of staff, the Yorkshire duo’s company now employs a team of 260 people and last month was crowned Best Large Agency in the Yorkshire Residential Property Awards.