Countrywide, the UK's largest chain of estate agents, last night agreed to be taken over in a £940 million deal involving its management team and private equity firm 3i.
The agreed offer valued the firm at 550.6p a share and includes the distribution of Countrywide's 21.5 per cent stake in property website Rightmove.
The bid team included Harry Hill, who is Country-wide's managing director, and Mike Nower, finance director.
Countrywide chairman Christopher Sporborg, who evaluated the offer as an independent director, said:
"We have had time to evaluate all aspects of the offer, and for other offerors to come forward.
"It is now right to move forward and I am confident that our recommendation today is in the best interests of Countrywide shareholders."
Countrywide employs more than 7,000 people at its estate agency division, including at the branches Bairstow Eves and Mann & Co.
The offer for Countrywide represents the latest in a number of moves by investors to step into Britain's recovering housing market.
Retirement home builder McCarthy & Stone was the subject of an intense bidding war, while Persimmon acquired Westbury last year for £643 million and Wilson Bowden is currently attracting interest from a number of parties.
In August, the company's estate agency division turned half-year operating loss of £6.4 million into profits of £19 million in the six months to June 30.
Profits for the whole group were up to £62.8 million from £3.5 million a year earlier. The improvement reflected profits of £16.4 million on the sale of part of the company's stake in property website Rightmove.