Lomond Capital, the Scottish-based property group, has made its first foray into the south of England in the wake of securing a £37.5 million acquisition war chest.
The Edinburgh-based company has bought a majority stake in Brighton and Hove-based estate agency and lettings group Brand Vaughan, in the first of a number of planned acquisitions in the region where Lomond is looking to build a significant presence.
Brand Vaughan manages more than 1,250 properties and sells about £175m worth of property a year. Lomond will provide capital to fund the expansion of the business and the existing management team will remain significant shareholders, with Lomond’s chief executive Stuart Pender becoming chairman.
Pender said Brighton and the south coast – where average monthly rents stand at £1,350 – had been a key target for Lomond for some time and that other deals were expected in the near future.
“Taking a majority stake in a market leader in the area has certainly created interest in our plans in the area and we are having a lot of positive discussions there currently,” he said.
Lomond is also planning to move into the London market, with a first deal possibly towards the end of the year.
The latest acquisition announcement comes just days after Lomond secured up to £37.5m in acquisition funding from Clydesdale Bank and Tosca Debt Capital.
The company has appointed a new group managing director, Bruce Evans, who previously headed Countrywide’s operations in London and the south of England.
Lomond Capital was launched in 2010 and now manages residential properties worth in excess of £2.5 billion.
It employs more than 350 staff across businesses in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, St Andrews, Birmingham and Manchester.
Lomond’s strategy is to acquire and grow regional property letting and estate agency businesses.
The private rental sector is growing rapidly, with a rising proportion of total housing stock being held in the sector.