Estate agent expands with merger

TWO of the UK's longest-established property firms yesterday confirmed plans to merge, after more than a year of negotiations. Mayfair-based Carter Jonas, which operates 20 offices across northern and central England and Wales - including three in the East of England, in Cambridge, Peterborough and Long Melford - is to join forces with Dreweatt Neate, which has 11 offices in southern England.

TWO of the UK's longest-established property firms yesterday confirmed plans to merge, after more than a year of negotiations.

Mayfair-based Carter Jonas, which operates 20 offices across northern and central England and Wales - including three in the East of England, in Cambridge, Peterborough and Long Melford - is to join forces with Dreweatt Neate, which has 11 offices in southern England.

The merger will be effective from May 1, with the Dreweatt Neate offices taking on the Carter Jonas name. The enlarged business will have an annual turnover of �30million, 75 partners and more than 400 staff.

Carter Jonas, which was established in 1855, and Dreweatt Neate, which can trace its origins back to 1759, were first reported to be in merger talks in May last year.


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Besides efficiencies of scale and increased geographical coverage, the firms said yesterday that benefits of the merger would include a wider mix of specialisms and improved recruitment and career development potential.

“As a result of the geographical fit, there are only a few overlapping areas where restructuring will take place,” according to a joint statement yesterday. “Staff consultations have already started.”

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Mark Granger, chief executive of Cater Jonas, and John Henniker-Major, chairman of the firm, will continue in their current roles with David Smith, senior partner at Dreweatt Neate, also retaining his title.

Joining Mr Granger on the enlarged firm's management board will be Scott Harkness and Tim Jones of Carter Jonas and Alastair Martin and Simon Pallett of Dreweatt Neate.

Mr Granger said: “The enlarged Carter Jonas will have a wider spread of offices and a fresh combination of skills to enable it to build on the strong foundations it already has.

“The two firms have been talking for more than a year and we are thrilled to have finally achieved an outcome which will help deliver an enhanced service to our wide ranging client base.

“I'm looking forward to leading the firm into a new era of prosperity, serving both private and corporate clients from the South Coast to the Scottish borders. The enlarged practice will have more than 400 years of combined trading experience behind it; arguably giving it one of the finest pedigrees of any business in the UK property sector.”

Mr Smith added: “The synergies between the two firms were too strong to be ignored. Not only are we very similar in terms of business mix, culture and heritage, but we are a perfect fit geographically.

“For some time, both organisations have felt that a merger could generate significant opportunities, and we're very excited that this is finally happening. With its vast experience and considerable talent pool, we are confident that Carter Jonas will be one of the strongest and most dynamic property firms in the UK.”

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