Shoosmiths advises The Property Franchise Group on EweMove acquisition

Shoosmiths advises The Property Franchise Group on EweMove acquisition


Author: Kara Shadbolt

The corporate team of UK law firm Shoosmiths has advised The Property Franchise Group on their £15m acquisition of national sales and lettings agency, EweMove.

The price comprises an initial £5m cash payment upon completion, together with the issue of £3m new ordinary Property Franchise Group shares and an earn-out payment of up to a further £7m subject to performance.

Based in Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire, the award-winning EweMove team adds 90 franchisees to The Property Franchise Group, bringing with them their unique brand identity, creative ethos and customer service focused outlook.

Shoosmiths corporate team including partner Mark Shepherd, senior associate Tim Moss and solicitor Ross Lang advised on the transaction.

Ian Wilson, chief executive of The Property Franchise Group, explains how the new investment will shape the future: 'We see the acquisition as complementary to the wider Group strategy with the hybrid model, a people business which combines an online platform with truly local presence and customer service focus, differentiating it from other online offerings.

'The Property Franchise Group continues to be focused on creating value for shareholders by leveraging its scale and over 30 years' experience as a franchisor to build a business comprising a significant share of the UK residential lettings and estate agency market.

'I am delighted to welcome EweMove's management to The Property Franchise Group senior executive team. Their insight will be invaluable in developing our use of on-line marketing techniques and technology across the Group.'

Mark Shepherd, corporate partner at Shoosmiths, said: 'It has been a pleasure to advise The Property Franchise Group on this transaction which has complemented the existing business with significant digital expertise. We wish The Property Franchise Group the best of luck as they continue to build their successful brand and look forward to continuing to work with them in the growth and development of their highly successful business.'

EweMove joins Martin & Co, CJ Hole, Ellis & Co, Parkers and Whitegates which were acquired by The Property Franchise Group in 2014 - a venture which has since proven to be extremely successful.

Shoosmiths' corporate team advises public and private companies, management teams, investors and debt providers through the business life cycle. Shoosmiths work with businesses from start-up and first round finance through to mergers and acquisitions, MBO and MBI transactions, development funding and on exits, by way of sale, listing or private equity investment.

Nationally, the corporate team is ranked in joint first place by deal volume in Experian's UK Deal Review and Advisor League Table. The team was recognised for its mergers and acquisitions expertise at the 2015 M&A Awards, winning the Law Firm of the Year category.