2nd March 2016

North East estate agency becomes part of nationwide property group.

North East estate agency Rook Matthews Sayer (RMS) has been acquired by the Connells Group, in a deal led by business advisors UNW.

Newcastle-based RMS, which has 16 branches, more than 130 staff and sells more homes in the city and Northumberland than any other estate agency, became part of the Skipton Building Society-owned Connells Group on February 29.

RMS shareholders Clive Rook, Rod Matthews and Richard Sayer, who founded the business in 1990, appointed Newcastle-based UNW to advise them on the deal. Lawyers Bond Dickinson handled the legal aspects of the deal on behalf of RMS.

Connells Group is one of the UK’s largest and most successful estate agency and property services groups, with over 560 branches around the country. The company, which was founded with its first branch opening in 1936, has been part of the Yorkshire-based Skipton Building Society since 1996.

Under the terms of the deal, which was agreed for an undisclosed sum, RMS will continue to provide its residential and commercial sales and lettings and property management services under the Rook Matthew Sayer brand.

UNW corporate finance senior manager, Katy Lamb, said: “Recently there has been a significant level of consolidation activity across the UK lettings and estate agency sector which we expect to continue. RMS is an excellent North Eastern acquisition for the Connells Group and we are very pleased to have advised its shareholders on this successful transaction.”

RMS co-founder Clive Rook said: “UNW provided excellent advice and negotiating expertise when we decided it was the right time to sell our business.

“Connells is a large and growing business, and we are confident that the Rook Matthews Sayer name will continue to go from strength to strength as part of the Connells Group.”

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