Barclays Private Equity has sold its remaining 12.6 per cent stake in LSL Property Services, realising proceeds of £27 million.
The Birmingham office of Barclays Private Equity originally backed the management buyout of LSL, which is made up of e.surv and Your Move, in July 2004 from Norwich Union – now Aviva – for a total consideration of £42.5 million.
In 2005, LSL acquired Reeds Rains, the largest independent estate agency in the north of England to create the UK’s third largest national estate agency chain with more than 400 branches.
This enabled the company to float on the London Stock Exchange in November 2006 with an initial market capitalisation of £211 millon.
In January 2010, LSL completed the acquisition of Halifax Estate Agencies creating the second largest estate agency business in the UK.
Since the listing, the performance of LSL has been extremely robust despite challenging conditions in the UK housing market.
In the six months to 30 June 2010, the company reported a 56 per cent increase in like-for-like underlying operating profit to £17 million on like-for-like turnover up 22 per cent to £90.2 million.
Phil Griesbach, director at the Birmingham office of Barclays Private Equity, who led the investment in LSL, said: “LSL has continued to perform well following its IPO, evidenced by its recent interim results.
“The company has continued to grow market share and has successfully capitalised on industry consolidation opportunities, most recently, through its acquisition of Halifax Estate Agencies.
“BPE is selling its remaining shares in LSL, having held these for four years post-float.
“We have generated a great return for our investors and are confident that LSL’s excellent management team will continue to successfully grow the business.”
This realisation follows a number of successful exits for BPE during 2010 including the recent sale of Schneider to Silverfleet Capital, of GHD to IK Investment Partners and of FirstAssist Services to Capita.
In March, BPE also sold Deb Group to Charterhouse Capital Partners for £325 million generating a money multiple of nearly six times on its original investment.