'Major expansion' as Galbraith buys property rival

SCOTTISH property consultant CKD Galbraith is buying the Buccleuch John Sale estate agency and chartered surveying business in a move it is describing as a "major expansion".

James Galbraith, chairman of CKD Galbraith, said that although the takeover of Buccleuch John Sale as a going concern has been agreed, the price is still to be confirmed. Subject to due diligence, the acquisition is expected to be completed within a month.

CKD Galbraith's turnover last year was 7.5 million and the deal will add about 15 per cent to that figure.

Buccleuch John Sale's three offices and 30 staff in Kelso, Galashiels and Peebles will continue to serve their clients, under the CKD Galbraith brand. The prospective deal will take the number of CKD Galbraith offices in Scotland to 12, with 160 staff from Inverness to the Borders.

CKD Galbraith provides property consulting services across the commercial, residential and rural sectors. Buccleuch John Sale is an independent firm of chartered surveyors whose experience in the Scottish property market dates back almost 50 years. Its services include valuation and sale of residential property, professional surveys and mortgage valuations, valuation and sale of agricultural land, commercial property purchase, residential letting and architectural services.

Galbraith said: "John Sale is a long-established practice, particularly in the Borders, and is a very highly respected name. "

The Buccleuch Group bought John Sale in April 2004. It said current market conditions require it to extend its commercial reach and it makes sense to join forces with CKD Galbraith.

Galbraith said he expects more consolidation across the property sector, particularly among solicitor and estate agency businesses. "Critical mass is more important now than ever before," he added.