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‘Skin in the game’: Network members buy business

22 January 2021 Grace Ormsby
Leanne Pilkington

A New South Wales franchise network has been purchased by a group of its members, with a number of high-profile corporate representatives and agency principals now named as owners.

Team members working within and under the Laing+Simmons Corporation have agreed to purchase the company from its current owner, Dexar Group, for an undisclosed sum.

The New South Wales-based boutique real estate franchise’s managing director, Leanne Pilkington, and long-serving principals D’Leanne Lewis, Ray Fayad and Nicholas Efrossynis are among the 15-strong shareholders of the new business’s ownership structure.

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Weighing in on the decision to buy the business, Ms Pilkington said that the decision to take over ownership of the brand demonstrates the value and belief in the brand held by members.

“The purchase of Laing+Simmons by network members highlights the confidence we have in the business and the potential for growth we see in the future,” she said.

“When the opportunity to acquire Laing+Simmons arose, the demand among franchisees was strong and the offer was fully subscribed quickly, demonstrating the belief in the brand.”

According to the managing director, who is also the current president of the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales, the real estate industry is undergoing rapid evolution, “which means franchising needs to evolve as well”.

“No one is better placed to understand the needs of today’s business owners than agency principals, who operate at the coal face every day,” she stated.

Ms Pilkington said the new shareholding group is very diverse, in relation to age, location and gender, which “will ensure a holistic direction is set for the business which welcomes and benefits a broader demographic of network partners and their teams”.

“This diversity will underpin our future growth as we look to grow the Laing+Simmons network in select metropolitan and regional locations in 2021 and beyond.”

She added that the internal acquisition “means we have skin in the game”.

“We believe so strongly in the brand that we acquired it. Our future partners and office principals can be confident in our commitment to support them and the growth of their business with a view to helping them create a long-term asset for the future,” she said.

The managing director said the new ownership model provides a solid platform for the brand’s future growth: “The ambitions of ownership, our existing franchisees and those we welcome in the future are completely aligned.”

A statement announcing the purchase said that Laing+Simmons will continue to operate using the franchise model under the new ownership arrangement.

‘Skin in the game’: Network members buy business
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