With effect from 31st August 2022, Leaders Romans Group (LRG) has acquired The Acorn Group, a multi-discipline estate agent operating across South East London and Kent. This is LRG’s largest acquisition to date and one of the largest acquisitions completed in the property industry in recent years. This acquisition represents further expansion into South East London and Kent following earlier acquisitions of Northfields in March, and Portico in October 2021.
Acorn commenced trading in 1984, out of only one office in Grove Park, South East London, and has grown organically and through acquisitions to a 40-branch business. With Leaders opening its doors around a similar time, the businesses have grown alongside each other for decades. The Acorn Group comprises of the Acorn brand, MAP, and Start as well as Langford Russell and John Payne, which were acquired in 2002 and 2012 respectively and have grown under the leadership of the Acorn team.
The previous majority owners of the business, Founders Rob Sargent and Alan Cornish will now step away from operations while CEO Neil Louth, Lettings Director Paul Deveney, and their whole senior management team will stay with the company to deliver substantial growth across the brands over future years.
While predominantly a sales and lettings agent, like LRG, Acorn also offers additional services from estate and block management and surveying to financial services, land, and new homes. The most recent addition to the raft of professional services being their lease extension business.
The Acorn Group employs 425 people all of whom have transferred with The Acorn Group to LRG following the completion of the acquisition. Due to the longevity and strength of the businesses within the Acorn Group, they will continue to trade under their existing names.
Neil Louth, CEO of Acorn Group, comments, “We are exceptionally proud of the growth of Acorn since we first started trading almost 40 years ago. Over that time, we have experienced significant changes in the property sector as consumer and industry expectations shift. We are thrilled to be joining the LRG ranks, as a forward-looking industry leader, we feel we share many of the same values including ambition, customer orientation, and performance-led business, so it is a great cultural fit. The sale process has been a great experience from start to finish and I personally look forward to the future of The Acorn Group, particularly the next 5 years where we have ambitious plans to grow the business, along with the added resource, experience, and support as part of LRG.”
Matthew Light, Group Mergers and Acquisitions Director at LRG, adds, “This acquisition marks a significant milestone for LRG, with the backing of Platinum Equity we have set our sights on larger businesses, and this is the biggest acquisition in the group’s history. The Acorn Group story is revered, and we look forward to maintaining an ongoing relationship with the company’s founders Robert Sargent and Alan Cornish. South East London and Kent is an area that forms part of our ambitious growth strategy and will now be supported by this valued team.”
Michael Cook, Group Managing Director at LRG, adds, “We have enjoyed a long-term relationship with the Acorn Management team so when the opportunity arose to acquire the business into our group, we were very excited about the opportunity to work with Neil, Paul, and the team and feel that we share a very similar cultural and entrepreneurial approach to business. We are excited about the potential of the expansive portfolio currently held by Acorn, across a multitude of sector divisions. The team will now have the LRG backing to expand its footprint across all business areas, both organically and through acquisitions. The Acorn Group has been a prominent business across the South East of England for a long time and we are proud to have them join us so we can continue to grow together.”