My Home Move explores sale options, KPMG advises

15 February 2018

My Home Move (MHM), a UK conveyancing firm, is exploring a sale process, two sources familiar with and two sources briefed on the situation said. 

 

KPMG is advising on the process, the sources familiar and the first source briefed said. The mandate was awarded last September, the first source briefed added. 

 

The Leicester-based company underwent a management buyout funded by private equity firm Smedvig Capital in December 2005. Smedvig owns the business, according to a Companies House filing. 

 

MHM generates GBP 10m in EBITDA, the sources familiar and second source briefed said. It reported GBP 52m in turnover and GBP 3.6m in EBITDA for the year ending in December 2016, according to a Companies House filing. EBITDA fell from GBP 4m in 2015. 

 

The sale process is expected to launch in 3Q, with pre-marketing in 2Q, the sources familiar said.

 

The first source briefed had suggested the deal would be likely to launch after the UK government makes a decision on whether to ban referral fees. However, the second source familiar said this would have no influence on the timing of the process. 

 

The government suggested a ban on estate agents charging referral fees, and loosened restrictions on conveyancers acting for both seller and buyer last October, as possible reforms to improve the home buying process, as reported. 

 

MHM could lose a potential source of income if referral fees were banned, although the ban is unlikely, the first source briefed said. 

 

MHM has grown very well under Smedvig Capital’s ownership, and is one of the leading players in the mover conveyancing services market due to the disruptive impact of its technology, the second source familiar said. But the business has experienced slow growth because of the impact of the Brexit vote on the UK housing market, the first source familiar said. It needs more time to demonstrate the success of its online model before any sale process, he added. 

 

The asset is likely to attract interest from private equity players, the second source briefed and a sector banker said. The market is quite fragmented and there are a lot of opportunities to build a platform that can compete against Countrywide [LON:CWD], the sector banker added. Trade bidders including ZPG [LON:ZPG] could also consider it, the first source briefed said. 

 

KPMG and My Home Move declined to comment. Smedvig did not reply to requests for comment.

 

In 2009, Smedvig Capital injected GBP 3.5m to help MHM make strategic acquisitions. Recent acquisitions include ilast year's purchase of Advantage Property Lawyers (APL), the sixth largest conveyancer, for an undisclosed amount. 

 

Founded in 2001, My Home Move provides conveyancing services to home movers in the UK. It works with real state agencies and financial advisers.

 

by Amy-Jo Crowley and Maryna Irkliyenko in London