Thornley Groves sold to Lomond

Edinburgh-based investor Lomond Capital has acquired ­Manchester estate agent Thornley Groves as part of a plan to establish a UK property management network.

Thornley Groves handles £250m of house sales each year and 3,000 lettings. The business has eight offices and employs 80 staff.

Stuart Pender, chief executive of Lomond Capital, said: "Manchester has a very attractive property market with the largest private rental sector outside London. It has been a key market for Lomond Capital for some time now. We have been looking for a high-quality and ambitious firm with a strong brand to be at the centre of our growth strategy in Manchester.

"We were delighted to secure the deal with Thornley Groves as they have an established brand with a reputation earned over more than 20 years. We will work with the existing owners to strengthen the market leading position."

Michael Groves, the chief executive of Thornley Groves, will become chairman of Lomond's operations in Manchester, while Jason Watkin, operations director, becomes chief executive in the North of England.

Groves said: "This is a fantastic opportunity to grow our business across Manchester. It will enable us to embark on a period of expansion through acquiring other businesses and will allow us to offer other services to our existing customers. The deal will also help boost our growing estate agency business."

Stuart Pender and Roger Lane-Smith founded Lomond Capital in 2010 with £45m to fund acquisitions. Pender started his career as an actuary with Scottish Amicable and led the management buyout of insurance firm Paymentshield in 2004 with backing from Bank of Scotland. Lane-Smith is a former chairman of DLA Piper and former chairman of JJB Sports.

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