Long-established Edinburgh lettings firm DJ Alexander acquired in major takeover

Lomond Group said it had become the largest lettings and estate agent in Scotland after acquiring Edinburgh-based DJ Alexander, one of the industry’s most familiar names.

The move, which was supported by Lomond’s private equity partner LDC, brings the group’s portfolio of managed properties to 9,500 in Scotland, and “significantly strengthens” its presence across the Central Belt. It marks the company’s 24th acquisition in 2021 and means it now manages more than 30,000 properties throughout the UK.

DJ Alexander will continue to trade under its existing name, with founder and industry veteran David Alexander leading the Lomond business in Scotland as chief executive. Financial details surrounding the acquisition have not been disclosed.

Andrew Seldon will become chief executive (north and west Scotland) responsible for the group businesses in Glasgow and Aberdeen, and reporting to Alexander.

Stuart Pender, David Alexander and Andrew Seldon, pictured after agreeing the deal.

Alexander said: “Anyone who has ever worked with me over the last 40 years knows how driven and passionate I am. I thank them from the bottom of my heart in helping to establish a trusted and recognisable brand across central Scotland.

“I will take the same drive and passion to the Lomond Group and look forward to playing my part in establishing it as the UK’S number one agent.”

DJ Alexander’s 104 employees will join Lomond Group, bringing the total group headcount to about 250 in Scotland and some 1,000 across the UK.

As part of the acquisition, Lomond will also consolidate its Edinburgh and St Andrews-based agency, Braemore, as well as the Edinburgh branch of its recently acquired Fineholm business, into the DJ Alexander brand.

Stuart Pender, group chief executive of Lomond Group, said: “DJ Alexander is a highly respected agency in the Scottish Central Belt with a reputation for excellence in the industry. We are delighted to bring the brand and its people into the Lomond Group, significantly strengthening our presence in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

“The acquisition emphasises our focus on consolidating fragmented regional markets to enhance the proposition our sector offers to clients while maintaining a local, on-the-ground approach which brings significant benefits to landlords and tenants.”

Lomond has major hubs in private rental markets including Aberdeen, Birmingham, Brighton, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester.

LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group, owner of Bank of Scotland, backed the creation of Lomond Group in December 2020, merging Lomond Capital and Linley & Simpson. The private equity firm said it continues to work closely with the management team to support Lomond’s buy and build strategy.

At the start of this year, Lomond announced its marriage with Yorkshire firm Linley & Simpson to create a business with tens of thousands of properties on its books.

The enlarged group said it would look to strengthen its network through bolt-on acquisitions and organic growth.

Pender said at the time: “Lettings and estate agents are facing an increasingly complex regulatory environment and challenging trading conditions.

“We have had significant success in bringing together and supporting good quality regional agents under one operating model whilst maintaining a local, on the ground approach which together has delivered significant benefits to landlords and tenants.”

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