Acquisitive Lomond adds to its agency in Aberdeen

Property management firm Lomond Capital has swallowed a further three rival businesses as it seeks to cement its position in the rental market.

Stuart Pender, chief executive of Lomond Capital

The Edinburgh-based group, which was set up four years ago with a £45 million war chest and a mission to consolidate the fragmented sector for residential lettings, has now made 20 acquisitions. The latest deals will help it to take a more dominant position in Aberdeen, where it has bought Langley Serviced Apartments from Bill Brebner as well the lettings book of Alex Hutcheon Legal & Estate Agency.

The additions mean its lettings team in the Granite City now has 1,600 property assets under its management, worth £365m. The business has a 38-strong property management team operating from three branches. Lomond is consolidating the various lettings brands it owns in the region under a single name – Stonehouse.

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The firm has also acquired Vital Space’s Manchester City Centre lettings business, which will be absorbed into its Thornley Groves operation in the English city. The deal takes the total number of properties managed by Thornley Groves to 2,600. Lomond did not say how much it paid for the businesses.

Chief executive Stuart Pender, below, said oil-rich Aberdeen was a “strategic pillar” for the group, and the Langley acquisition gives the firm exposure to the corporate market. “These three acquisitions, the 18th, 19th and 20th since we set up in 2010, bring great benefits to our offerings in Aberdeen and Manchester,” he said.

“We see Aberdeen, with its strong micro-economy, as a strategic pillar of our business plan. The Aberdeen property market has experienced consistent growth in recent years and has out-performed the central belt over the last decade.

“Being able to offer the corporate market excellent quality serviced accommodation through our Langley Apartments business is an exciting new venture for us in this dynamic marketplace.”

Earlier this year Lomond created Edinburgh’s biggest lettings agency by combining three of the capital’s long-established property management firms into a single operation.

The move saw the James Gibb and Alba Residential names subsumed by Braemore Property Management.

Braemore, led by former ESPC chief Malcolm Cannon, then added a further 400 properties to its portfolio by swallowing Steyn Lettings.

Lomond Capital now employs more than 240 personnel, manages some 7,400 residential properties worth over £1.5 billion and sells more than £70m worth of residential property every year.

Lomond said it plans to expand beyond the three cities in which it currently operates with launches into Birmingham and Leeds later this year. It plans to move into the south of England in 2015.