Upmarket global estate agent Chesterton is expected to appoint The Partners to undertake a comprehensive re-branding programme in the next two weeks, as the company rebounds from a brush with receivership earlier this year.
According to industry sources, the appointment follows a pitch process that was initiated in early August and involved at least two other groups.
Chesterton marketing director Keith Burns confirms the pitch process has taken place. He says ‘no appointment has been finalised’, though he expects to make a formal announcement ‘within a fortnight’.
According to people close to the project, the group’s brief will be to deliver a branding strategy that enables the 200-year-old estate agent to take on market leaders such as Foxtons, which, with its fleet of green and gold Minis, has a pre-eminent presence in London’s residential property market.
It is believed that the consultancy’s remit will encompass all aspects of the brand, along with a revitalisation of the company’s internal culture. Branches are also likely to be updated, but it’s not yet clear if The Partners would handle this aspect of the project, or if a retail specialist will be appointed.
The first evidence of the new look is scheduled to launch early next year. The company was renamed Chesterton Global following its takeover in March, making a name change unlikely.
Operating from 16 offices across London, Chesterton specialises in properties worth more than £500 000. The company was put into receivership in early March, after losing around £2m in the previous seven months.
The residential arm of the business, which had remained profitable, was sold to CIC Group, an investment fund owned by Middle Eastern businessmen and property entrepreneur Vincent Tchenguiz.
National press reports suggest the investors paid £900 000 for ownership of the business, about £3.1m to cover its debts, and also earmarked another £4m for ‘much needed infrastructure investment and growth’.
The Partners declined to comment.
• Established in 1805, making it one of the country’s oldest estate agents
• 16 offices across London, specialising in property over £500 000
• Despite boom times in property, went into receivership in March 2005 – its commercial arm having lost a reported £2m
• Bought by CIC Group, reported to be prepared to invest £4m in growing the company