Martin & Co goes Public

One of the UK’s largest residential lettings brands, Martin & Co, has announced that it is to begin trading on the London Stock Exchange in 2014. The Bournemouth-based company has expanded successfully through franchising and is hoping to take advantage of a growing rental market with this move.

Martin & Co hopes to raise around £15 million from the flotation and expects the company to be valued at roughly £35 million. The business will release shares worth up to 50 per cent of its value. Currently, the business is 95 per cent owned by Richard Martin and Kathryn Martin while Chief Executive Ian Wilson owns the remaining five per cent. The flotation represents a part exit for the two founders.

Martin & Co has benefitted from a 50 per cent increase in privately rented households in the ten years leading up to 2011. This figure is expected to rise dramatically according to leading sources, Rightmove and Savills. Mr Wilson added: “Even for people within the industry, it’s surprising the extent to which letting has mushroomed.”

Richard Martin, one of Martin & Co’s founders, is naturally very positive about the move: “This is an entirely positive development for the Martin & Co Group and all of its franchise owners and employees. A public listing will provide a platform to raise new capital, which will be used to further expand and develop our franchise owners businesses through a programme of acquisitions. We may also use the funds to enable us to expand our footprint into new territories by assisting with the re-branding of competitor businesses, who may wish to develop with the backing of the biggest property franchise brand in the UK.”