Business market advisers unveil strategic tie-up

Cornerstone's Barry McNeil, left, and Iain Mercer
Cornerstone's Barry McNeil, left, and Iain Mercer
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TWO Central Belt advisory spec­ialists are to pool res­ources in a “ground-breaking” deal to strengthen their grip on the business sales market.

The tie-up will see commercial property agency IME Property, which is based in Edinburgh, and Cornerstone Business Agents, which has offices in the Scottish capital and Glasgow, form a “strategic joint venture”, that stops short of being a full-blown merger.

There are said to be joint business disposals valued at “several million pounds” already in the pipeline. These centre on the licensed trade and hospitality sectors.

While the respective founders of IME and Cornerstone, Ian McDonald and Derek Burgoyne, have known each other for many years, the new initiative will be driven forward by their respective teams.

IME Property managing dir­ector Iain Mercer said: “Because of our growing brand awareness and online presence IME is receiving more and more approaches from people looking to sell their business.

“Whilst we have the platform to take on these instructions, we want to service them as effectively as possible. The partnership with Cornerstone made sense for a host of reasons, not least our shared values on providing clients with a first class service.”

Burgoyne has recently brought on board two new dir­ectors/joint owners, Barry McNeil and David Higgins, with the remit of driving forward the Cornerstone business. Both spent nearly a decade at business agency Christie + Co and share more than 25 years’ of business sales experience.

McNeil said: “Over the years we have amassed plenty of experience in selling people’s businesses and this alliance will allow us to collectively share ideas and skills whilst extending the reach of our respective brands.”

McDonald and ­Mercer came together formally earlier this year, in a bid to shake up Scotland’s commercial property market.

The pair also took up a shop frontage in the Tollcross area of Edinburgh to display their line-up of properties, replicating ­residential estate agencies and property shops.