GVA buys rival to boost turnaround

GVA boss Rob Bould hailed 'transformational' deal
GVA boss Rob Bould hailed 'transformational' deal
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Property agency GVA has bought rival James Barr in a move it says makes it the third largest firm in the Scottish commercial sector.

The firm, which recently announced profits of almost £8 million for the last financial year, said the acquisition also marks a statement of intent to expand further within the Scottish property market.

Chief executive Rob Bould said: “This will be a truly transformational partnership for both companies.”

He said GVA’s debt-for-equity swap with Lloyds Development Capital last year had propelled it into a period of growth, and the firm was now just 12 months away from becoming a debt free business.

“These events have turned GVA into a far safer and stronger proposition. As such, this business is confident, and that’s why we’ve not only acquired James Barr, but we’re also securing a number of high level appointments to grow our existing teams,” Bould said.

No figure was disclosed for the deal, but James Barr, which was owned by 12 directors, had a turnover of around £4 million.

James Barr chief executive Eric Forgie said that although the business was profitable and debt free, it became clear it needed to gain scale in “a fiercely competitive marketplace” for property consultancy and transactional advice.

He said GVA’s network of offices provided “tremendous opportunities” for James Barr staff.

The combined Scottish businesses will operate as GVA James Barr north of the Border, and it expected to have a turnover of more than £10m.