The Republic’s largest estate agency Sherry Fitzgerald Group has announced a significant expansion north of the border with the acquisition of Belfast-based Simon Brien Residential.
The value of the deal has not been disclosed, but it will see Simon Brien Residential (SBR) continue to trade under its own name from its four offices in Belfast, Holywood and Newtownards.
Company founder Simon Brien is to remain as managing director, with all 35 staff, including the existing management team, also retaining their roles.
Sherry Fitzgerald, which has more than 100 offices and 550 staff across the Republic, was itself acquired in May 2022 for a reported €50 million by Castlegate Investments, the private family office investment vehicle of Eshopworld founder Tommy Kelly.
The company previously entered the Northern Ireland market more than two decades ago by taking a 20% stake in McCombe Pierce & Partners.
It later sold its stake to Cushman & Wakefield in 2018.
Sherry Fitzgerald said the deal for SBR is part of its strategy of growing organically and through acquisition.
Chief executive Steven McKenna described it as the firm’s first strategic venture in Northern Ireland.
“Together with Simon and his team, we aim to establish the foremost estate agency network in Northern Ireland, offering clients a unique experience led by talented professionals, cutting-edge technology, and our trusted brands,” he said.
“This partnership presents exciting opportunities to redefine the industry, setting new standards of excellence in property and financial services.”
Commenting on the sale of his company, Simon Brien said: “This is a brilliant opportunity for both the staff and clients of our company and one that will bring rapid and positive change to the market here in Northern Ireland.
“Not only will the technology and platforms developed by Sherry FitzGerald assist us with growth, but the group’s strength and reach gives us the opportunity for expansion in Northern Ireland.
“In addition to that, Sherry FitzGerald’s affiliation with Christies International Real Estate gives us access to an international platform.”
Mr Brien said it will be “business as usual” across the four offices, but said SBR “now have the chance to collaborate with unified strength, networks, and technology”.