LONDON-Chesterton International Chairman Peter Brooks painted a gloomy picture at the Annual General Meeting of the troubled estate agency group. “Conditions remain uncertain in each of the markets in which the company operates,” he said. And although he did not make the connection directly, this could be behind the painfully slow pace of negotiations for the sale of Chesterton’s various businesses.

Earlier this year the company confirmed that it has in talks with potential buyers for its commercial and residential businesses, at least one of which is understood to be a management buyout proposal. But as property heads into a downturn the negotiations appear to be taking longer.

In his AGM statement Brooks said: “The company has experienced a weakening in its commercial agency function in London, although our valuation and advisory functions continue to perform well. Residential sales have started the financial year well, whilst our lettings activity has seen a fall off in demand, in line with the market. Management Services is trading broadly in line with our expectations.”

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