Son buys Edward Mellor estate agents from administrators

Manchester estate agency Edward Mellor been bought out of administration by the son of the founder.

Explora Solutions, which ran the Edward Mellor Estate Agency offices, closed on Wednesday after being placed into administration, with the loss of 80 staff and the closure of 15 offices.

Now a new company, headed up by Colin Mellor has bought back the trading names and business assets, opening eight of the original offices and employing 60 of the redundant staff.

Beever and Struthers, the Manchester-based chartered accountancy and business advisory firm, secured the sale after being appointed as administrator. The sale to the new company was for an undisclosed sum.

The agency Edward Mellor was formed in 1983 and its branches are situated throughout south and east Manchester.

Charles MacMillan, partner and head of corporate recovery at Beever and Struthers, said: "The decision to put the business into administration obviously emanated from the extremely challenging conditions in the residential property market.

"While we sympathise entirely with those people made redundant, we're delighted that there is a largely positive outcome which most importantly keeps the Edward Mellor brand alive and provides new jobs to a number of the ex-employees."

Colin Mellor, previously a director of Explora Solutions, will remain as a director of the new company. He said: "The trading conditions we have experienced since the autumn of 2007, conditions which have not been seen in post World War Britain, meant that the company was not able to reduce it's cost base to reflect the dramatic decline in the housing market activity levels.

"In purchasing the assets and trading name of Edward Mellor, we have a company which is equipped to deal with the current climate and provides a sound platform for the customers we have acquired through the purchase and for the staff we have been able to employ and to keep alive the strong brand reputation founded by my father over 25 years ago."

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I hope Steve Tipping had the good sense to retire from there many moons ago. Square pegs in round holes is the issue at Edward Mellor, not the current climate.

By Caldicott Payne Commercial