TWO independent Yorkshire estate agency chains - who between them have helped more than 100,000 people move home - have joined forces, it was announced today (Thursday November 22).
Linley & Simpson has acquired the residential sales and lettings business of Ilkley-headquartered Dale Eddison - crowned the UKs Best Small Agency in the industrys Oscars earlier this year.
The arrangement has resulted in Linley & Simpson buying Dale Eddisons five offices - located in Ilkley, Otley, Guiseley, Silsden and Skipton - to extend its presence across the sought-after Wharfe and Aire Valleys. They will continue to operate under the Dale Eddison brand.
The Dale Eddison team of 43 staff - including directors Bill Dale, William Eddison and Gary Shankland - remain with the business to ensure client services continue seamlessly.
"Dale Eddison has a deserved reputation for quality among the communities it serves - borne out by being voted Britains best by its clients, said chief executive of Leeds-headquartered Linley & Simpson, Will Linley. "We are delighted they have now joined our family of branches.
"By pooling our home-grown Yorkshire expertise, we aim to enhance the portfolio of market-leading services we offer all our buyers and sellers, tenants and landlords."
"This is a transformational deal that is a great fit for us strategically and geographically. This synergy gives us the platform to add an extra dimension to the service we already offer our customers in Ilkley, as well as taking us onto the High Street of neighbouring areas for the first time.
"We can now take advantage of more than four decades of collective estate agency expertise to drive customer service improvements and lead industry innovation across the area - one that is growing in popularity as a place to live."
He added: "This acquisition signals our confidence in the future of Yorkshires residential property market - and investing in it.
"Our sector is heading along a consolidation curve, where the scale of the challenges ahead will ensure that only the fittest will survive and thrive. Our ability to reinvest puts us on the strongest footing to be a market leader and keep pace with a changing property world of the future."
Dale Eddison joint founder Bill Dale said: "We are thrilled to be becoming part of another national award-winning agency especially one which has strong Yorkshire roots, the same traditional values, and shares our passion for properties and the people who live in them."
Previous acquisitions this summer included the lettings portfolio of another long-established Ilkley agent, Angus Roberts.
Following this weeks deal, the Dale Eddison offices will continue to operate as they do now with the exception of Ilkley. Here, the established Linley & Simpson office on Brook Street will now focus exclusively on lettings, while its new Dale Eddison sister branch on The Grove will specialise in sales.
When Will Linley and Ilkley's Nick Simpson launched their agency 21 years ago, they did so with just two offices in Leeds - Horsforth and Roundhay - and a handful of staff. Now, following this latest deal, it employs a team of more than 220 staff across an interlinked network of branches across West and North Yorkshire.
In addition to those acquired as part of the deal, they include Leeds city centre, Ilkley, Horsforth, Roundhay, Chapel Allerton, Harrogate, Ripon, Wetherby, Saltaire, Wakefield and York