Halifax Estate Agencies (HEA), which operates through a network of 218 offices, including 93 franchise operations, is to be sold to LSL Property Services plc (LSL). LSL is the parent company of estate agency brands Your Move, Reeds Rains and Intercounty.
The proposed transaction is expected to complete in January 2010 and will involve the assumption of HEA’s assets and liabilities for a cash consideration of £1. The Halifax brand is not included in the sale and, in time, the Halifax Estate Agency offices will be rebranded to either Your Move, Reeds Rains or Intercounty.
Lloyds said: “The decision to sell the estate agency business, which has been loss making for some time, follows a strategic review undertaken by the Group which concluded that an estate agency operation is no longer integral to its business model. As part of the transaction, there are 121 Halifax banking counters located within the estate agent offices which will close early in the New Year. The vast majority of these locations have either a Halifax or Lloyds TSB branch within one mile.”
It is anticipated that approximately 1,050 estate agency staff will transfer, on completion of the sale, to companies within the LSL group. However, as a result of the counter closures, up to 460 staff will be affected with the loss of approximately 360 full time roles.
For customers buying and selling property through Halifax Estate Agency there will be no change.
David Nicholson, managing director of Halifax Community Bank, said: "Halifax Estate Agency is a well established business and, following a strategic review, we believe that it is better able to grow outside the Group with a strong existing player in the market such as LSL Property Services plc.
“The Halifax brand is one of the strongest on the high street and remains integral to the Group. Halifax bank branches will continue to operate on the high street in England and Wales alongside Lloyds TSB and we are focused on growing and developing the Halifax business.”