Lloyds Banking Group has announced that it has reached an agreement in principle to sell its Halifax estate agency business for £1.
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.