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LONDON-London agent Weatherall Green & has sold a majority shareholding to the French investor Groupe Vendôme Rome, after nine months of negotiations. The acquisition of Weatherall Green & Smith will turn Vendôme Rome into one of the largest real estate groups in Europe, employing more than 2000 fee earners and staff, with revenues exceeding £200 million ($280 million).

Vendôme Rome already has a controlling interest in Auguste-Thouard in France and Mller International in Germany as well as stakes in brokers in Spain and Belgium, giving it a powerful pan-European presence. Speaking from Paris, Michel Moubayed, Head of Groupe Vendôme Rome said: ‘While others in our market have sought to create global networks and strategic alliances, we have chosen to establish a single business, combining the leading real estate companies in five major European territories.’

Greg Cooke, ex-Senior partner of Weatheralls become chairman of the new UK operation with a seat on the main executive board of the new European group. Richard Baldwin, formerly managing partner, becomes UK Managing Director. The dominant language of the new group will be English, and in addition to his main board responsibilities, Cooke has been asked to lead on the group’s marketing and communications initiatives. He said he expected to roll out a new corporate brand and identity shortly.

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