Lettings agency put up for sale

 
Kasmira Jefford
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A LETTINGS agency that plans to attract ex-City workers and bankers to expand its network of franchises has announced its intention to float on the Alternative Investment Market in a listing that will raise £8m including £3m in new money.

Belvoir Lettings, which runs 142 franchised offices across the UK will be valued at around £18m when it joins the market early next month.

Chairman and chief executive Mike Goddard, who founded the firm with his wife in 1995, said the listing will help the company tap into the growing rental market and expand to 200 offices by 2016.

Goddard, a former RAF wing commander, added that the company would use the cash raised to fund bolt-on acquisitions of smaller standalone lettings agencies in what he described as a “fragmented” market.

The Lincolnshire-based firm counts ex-serviceman and teachers amongst its franchisees, with the top quartile turning over more than £300,000.

“Many recently redundant City workers could do far worse than consider setting up their own Belvoir franchise in one of the many free territories across the UK,” said Guy Peters, head of Bevloir’s advisory team at Seymour Pierce.

Profits before tax for the first nine months of 2011 stand at £1.8m compared with around £2.1 for the full year in 2010.