The Portico agency – set up in 1818 – has become part of the Leaders Romans Group, which has bought it for an undisclosed sum.
All 154 staff at the 15-branch London agency, at one time known as Edmund Cude, will join the LRG workforce.
The news comes just weeks after media reports that the Leaders Romans Group itself may be up for sale, for as much as £400m. The specialist online service Private Equity Insights says LRG – which concentrates largely but not solely on lettings – has appointed NM Rothschild to work on a possible sale of the agency’s 160 branches across the UK.
Matthew Light, group mergers and acquisitions director at LRG, says of the Portico purchase: “Portico, predominantly a lettings business, has built up a highly reputable business that prides itself on providing a well-educated, knowledge-driven approach to property. This fits into the LRG ethos of remaining approachable to our customers while providing them with the best, and most trusted, local experts.”
Michael Cook, national lettings managing director at LRG, adds: “We’re thrilled to be joining forces with such a brilliant lettings and sales agency. This acquisition supports our vision for expansion of our footprint and range of service in the capital following our recent acquisitions of Outlook Property in 2020 and Gibbs Gillespie earlier this year.”
Private equity firm Bowmark Capital originally invested in Leaders Romans in 2010 and helped it carry out over 100 acquisitions to make it one of the largest agencies in the UK. The group came together in its current form in 2016, merging three long-standing brands – Leaders, Romans and Boyer.
Robert Nichols, chief executive officer at Portico, says of the sale of his historic firm to LRG: “We have the greatest of respect for the team at LRG and under their ownership we feel sure that Portico, and the people that make it all happen, will continue to grow and develop in the coming years.”