A Wirral estate agency business has undergone a management buy-out (MBO) with backing from MSIF.
Bakewell Horner based in Wallasey has been bought by Russ Smith, a minority shareholder, from former owner Peter Horner. Peter will remain with the business on a consultancy basis.
Formed 80 years ago, the company provides estate agency and property lettings management services. It is one of the only agencies in the area accredited by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
Bakewell Horner employs 19 staff and turnover last year reached £600k. It is on target to reach £700k this year.
Mr Smith said:- “I have had the ambition to run my own business from very early on in my career and in fact that is what made me write to Peter Horner 10 years ago and ask him for a job. I knew that Bakewell Horner had an unrivalled reputation and, as an independent business rather than a chain, I thought it offered the best opportunity for me to take over at some point."
“I have now realised that dream and I’m very much looking forward to the next chapter in Bakewell Horner’s history. There is a lot to live up to but I am confident that I can continue to build on the foundations that have made this business the biggest and most successful estate agent on the Wirral."
“Our prime focus is customer service. Buying, selling or letting properties can be stressful and we aim to make the process run smoothly. We are well qualified, experienced, hands on and pay attention to detail."
“We’ve recently invested in a new IT system and branding. Our new website will launch in May which will offer online services with all the support of a traditional agency. We are also investing in marketing and in the future may look to expand to other areas."
“The market has made a good recovery and whilst prices still aren’t as high as 2007, a well presented property will achieve a much higher figure now than during in the last 8 years."
“In April a 3% tax levy will apply to people purchasing a second property so we expect the market to be busy until then with investors making final purchases before the reforms come into effect."
“MSIF have been fantastic to work with. They are professional, easy to work with and educated me throughout the process. Taking over a business is a huge step but they have given me the confidence and support I needed.”
MSIF investment director Paul Humphray said: “Russ has had a clear strategy for many years about how to run his own business. He has worked with Bakewell Horner for 10 years so he knows the business, its clients and its ethos inside out."
“He’s got some great ideas and this coupled with his drive and passion for the business, will I am sure, see him make a great success of it.”