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Lomond to extend property empire south after Alba Residential takeover

Stuart Pender: real momentum

Stuart Pender: real momentum

LOMOND Capital has become Scotland’s biggest independently owned property management group after acquiring Edinburgh-based Alba Residential.

The deal, for an undisclosed sum, is the firm’s eighth in Scotland in two years, and the fifth in just eight weeks.

It is part of a £45 million strategy to consolidate the UK lettings market. Lomond now manages about 4,500 properties and employs more than 100 staff in Edinburgh and 
Aberdeen.

The company intends to 
expand south of the Border, with deals expected in Birmingham and Manchester.

Alba owners Paul and Kathleen Dickens will remain with the business in the short term, prior to Paul joining the Lomond board in Edinburgh as a non-executive director and Kathleen leaving to focus on their other business interests in St Andrews.

Stuart Pender, Lomond’s chief executive, said: “The acquisition of Alba Residential, undoubtedly one of Scotland’s leading letting agents, is a signal that market consolidation is working.

“Paul and Kathleen Dickens have built an excellent business with a fantastic management team and the combined skills of all the staff will further strengthen our Edinburgh offering. We are delighted that Alba Residential is joining our portfolio.”

Speaking about the planned expansion into England, he said: “We have built up real momentum now, with more and more agents and landlords coming our way.

“We have a vision for the lettings market that is shared by many letting agents who are struggling under increasing costs and who have little room for developing fresh revenue streams. We expect to make further announcements in relation to both Glasgow and Manchester in the very near future.”

He said Alba Residential landlords and tenants will benefit from the introduction of products and services including insurance, financial services and rent guarantees.

The size of the Lomond portfolio is likely to allow landlords and agents to benefit from being part of a bigger group, which will also help to balance rising overheads such as compliance costs and the loss of tenant administration fees, which are outlawed from the end of this month.

Paul Dickens, chief executive of Alba Residential, said: “This is the next stage of evolution for Alba Residential.

“We are very proud of the business and team we have built and we are pleased to have secured their long-term future with Lomond Capital. Alba Residential will continue to grow, and is now backed by the largest property management business in Scotland.”

Pender led a buy-out of Paymentshield, which was later sold to Towergate. He teamed up with Roger Lane-Smith, 
the City heavyweight who co-founded DLA Piper and is now chairman of Lomond Capital.

Lomond is wholly owned by its seven partners, each having made a significant equity investment in the business.

 

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