Hunters announces plans to float on stock market

Hunters, currently the sixth largest UK’s estate agency group, yesterday announced it is looking to float on the Alternative Investment Market this year – with the aim of expanding the network to over 500 offices in five years’ time.

It also announced the appointment of industry legend Harry Hill as its new Chief Executive Officer and revealed plans to expand into Europe.

Hunters will aim to raise funds privately on a pre-IPO (Initial Public Offering) basis by inviting investors, including both staff and partners, to buy shares.

Hunters is looking to raise up to £2.5m of new equity to enable it to accelerate further growth.

Hunters opened its first branch 22 years ago in York, the brainchild of brothers Kevin and Keith Hollinrake.

The network is now mainly franchised and has 128 branches nationwide in key cities across the UK including London, Birmingham, Leeds, Leicester, Manchester, Middlesbrough and Liverpool.

Last year Hunters opened 31 branches and increased overall income by over 40%.

In preparation for the flotation, a restructuring of the board is taking place.

Current managing director Kevin Hollinrake, who is likely to become a Conservative MP in May, is to become chairman.

Glynis Frew, currently operations director, takes over as managing director, and Harry Hill, currently a non-executive director and who is former CEO of Countrywide, becomes CEO.

He will principally be tasked with the responsibility of guiding Hunters through the flotation process and helping the company adjust to public ownership.

Martin Robinson’s role now formally expands to national sales director; co-founder John Waterhouse remains as president; Ed Jones, finance director, will take responsibility as CFO. Combined, the board has over 100 years’ experience in the industry.

Alongside Hollinrake and Waterhouse, both Frew and Waterhouse have worked with Hunters for over 15 years.

Hollinrake said: “This is an exciting time for us as we continue to drive forward our growth initiatives for expansion and to ultimately achieve being the UK’s favourite estate agency.

“With access to further capital, we see significant opportunity to increase our penetration in the UK, strengthen our position as one of the leading UK estate agency brands and open further branches in continental Europe.”

Frew said: “I am proud of what we have achieved at Hunters since 1992 and excited about what the future holds.

“The group has a compelling business model, clear growth prospects, and a very strong board who will retain full control and majority shareholding, together with well-trained and motivated employees.

“We hope this will give our staff and trading partners the ability to be involved and invest in the future of the business.”

Hunters MD, Kevin Hollinrake and Director Glynis Frew TV Advert

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7 Comments

  1. PeeBee

    “It also announced the appointment of industry legend Harry Hill as its new Chief Executive Officer…”

    Sorry?  Is that the Harry I aimed to kill off the High Street Estate Agent but packed in trying within a month Hill?

    I’m speechless.  Diarise that.

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  2. smile please

    Harry Hill the Steve McClaren of the estate agency world, Once a well respected individual with notable achievements now a bit of a laughing stock, always cropping up when an outsider who wants a perceived big name and the fans are always disappointed.

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  3. GPL

    Ah Yes, Harry Hill who entertained us with the aptly named Countrywide? Dear oh Dear…. can these folk not just let go? Good to see that Hunters is bristling with Titles for all these folk! Thank goodness our industry has lots of Estate Agents working in it or we would be doomed.

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  4. fotw2614

    Amazing news and put a smile on my face this morning – Harry bounces back again! Considering his support for on-line agencies and his recent business failures has Kevin made the right decision? A great speaker and gets lots of claps as he tells solicitors there business is doomed and then says the same for high street agents.. and here he is again… Definitely a Steve Mclaren impostor!

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    1. PeeBee

      A strange one indeed – I can’t say I’ve known Kevin make a poor decision yet (apart from going toe-to-toe with yours truly a couple of years running at the annual HSN all-night boozefest – sorry, Awards… ;o) ).  Was never sure about the franchise bit – but at the end of the day they seem to be holding at least some of their own in most locations.

      Wonder if Mr Hill will have them pulling off High Streets and into bedrooms – sorry, of course I mean Live:Work areas…?

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  5. Trevor Mealham

    Kevin’s a hard grafter. Harry has been behind some of the biggest innovations in agency due to strategic thinking. Good luck guys.

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  6. Special Agent 61

    Kevin and Harry – sounds like a comedy duo to me. They can cuddle up together stroking each others egos!

    Who can forget such legendary quotes as ” a branch on every High Street”

    Oh and a great idea to pinch the strap line for your TV advert off the side of a Northern Rail Metro train – hardly the most dynamic brand to align yourself with.

    I’d also love to know if any other agency in the UK has a “president” residing in it!!!!!

    Sounds like empire building on the way to Parliament Mr. Hollinrake!

     

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