Newsflash: Major purchase of big regional agent by Connells

Connells Group has acquired Rook Matthews Sayer, a leading estate agency with 16 branches operating across Newcastle, Tyneside and Northumberland.

The highly successful firm is a Gold member of OnTheMarket, with Clive Rook having been a director.

Separately, Countrywide announced this morning that it has bought a major stake in specialist brokerage The Buy-to-Let business.

The acquisition by Connells Group takes its high street network to over 560 branches nationwide and provides a platform for the Group’s expansion into this region.

Rook Matthews Sayer, founded in 1990, is a well-established and successful business offering residential sales and lettings together with professional services.

It will continue to trade under its existing  name.

Founders Clive Rook, Rod Matthews and Richard Sayer will retire from the business on completion and current director Janet Walker will become managing director to lead the company’s 130 employees in developing and expanding the business.

“This is our largest and most significant acquisition in 2016 and signals that the Group remains in expansive mode this year,” said David Plumtree, Connells Group estate agency chief executive.

“By incorporating Rook Matthews Sayer into our network, we fill a geographical gap in our portfolio which allows us to extend our market leading proposition into new geographical markets.

“We look forward to working with Janet and the team to marry their local expertise with our national strength and in order to expand the brand further and take Rook Matthews Sayer to its next stage of growth.”

Clive Rook said: “It is a very exciting proposition for Rook Matthews Sayer to become part of the market leading Connells Group.

“Our strong market position within the north east region will be enhanced by the strength of the Connells Group and I look forward to seeing the planned expansion.  We are confident that this is very good news for both our customers and our staff.”

Connells Group recently announced an excellent set of annual financial results highlighting the Group’s financial strength and ambition to grow further following a string of estate agency and lettings business acquisitions in 2015 (most notably the acquisition of 18-branch estate agency Gascoigne Halman and online estate agency Hatched).

Like Gascoigne Halman, Rook Matthews Sayer is a member of OnTheMarket. After the purchase by Connells, Gascoigne Halman left OTM for Zoopla; however, OTM took steps to enforce its contract.

Connells Group said this morning it would like to add further successful businesses to its portfolio and is open to approaches from existing sales or lettings businesses looking to sell or who wish to grow as part of a wider group.

Meanwhile, Countrywide said its investment in The Buy To Let Business was “significant”.

The business, based in Camberley, Surrey, employs 65 people and is in the top 50 fastest growing firms in the UK.

The investment by Countrywide signals its ambitions to enhance its activity in the buy-to-let sector.

Peter Curran, managing director of Countrywide Financial Services, said: “Our investment in the Buy to Let Business will enable our private rental and financial service businesses to create a market-leading proposition for landlords.

“It is also a clear statement of our belief in the sector’s important and longevity.”


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  1. Chrispy

    Good to see an interesting news article that hasn’t got an OTM angle, oh no hang on…

  2. PeeBee

    “Good to see an interesting news article that hasn’t got an OTM angle, oh no hang on…”

    Better again to see a comment from you on an article which hasn’t got an OTM/Z angle…

    …oh, no – hang on…


    1. PeeBee

      Awww… have I upset you three times more than usual, loyal plank?



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