PEXA Group completes acquisition of Smoove PLC
PRESS RELEASE December 2023 – PEXA Group Limited (ASX: PXA) (“PEXA“), a world-leading ASX-listed digital property exchange platform and property insights solutions business, is pleased to announce the completion of its acquisition of UK-based conveyancing technology provider Smoove plc (“Smoove“) (previously announced to ASX on 5 October 2023 and per the updated timeline published on 4 December 2023).
PEXA Group Managing Director and CEO, Glenn King, said: “PEXA and Smoove share the common goal of simplifying and enhancing the home moving process through digitalisation. The acquisition will help both companies significantly reduce transaction times, while simultaneously removing the pain points across the process. I am excited to welcome the Smoove team to the PEXA Group. This acquisition will further assist PEXA in bringing its world-leading technology to the UK market. Smoove’s position in the UK market will allow us to build additional scale and depth, while allowing the PEXA product suite to reach more customers.”
The acquisition of Smoove via a UK scheme of arrangement was overwhelmingly approved by Smoove shareholders on 14 November 2023. The acquisition was sanctioned by the court on 15 December 2023 (UK time) and became effective on 19 December 2023 (UK time). Smoove will be delisted from the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange by 7am on 20 December 2023 (UK time).
The acquisition values Smoove at £30.8 million (A$58.6 million) on a fully diluted basis and has been funded through cash currently held by PEXA, which has been drawn down from its existing facility and a newly established facility.
Joe Pepper, PEXA’s UK Country Head, said: “We look forward to working together with the team at Smoove to provide innovative products and services that will help address the many detriments suffered by UK consumers due to the UK’s fragmented, inefficient conveyancing processes. Smoove has built a customer-focused technology and services business with a multi-channel distribution network that spans mortgage brokers, banks, building societies, estate agents and direct-to-consumer websites, which we will benefit from as we broaden our UK presence.”
Smoove’s primary product is e-Conveyancer, a panel management service that brings together conveyancers and introducers, such as mortgage brokers and lenders, and their customers to offer a two-sided conveyancer marketplace.
Smoove has also invested in developing Smoove Complete (which, together with subsidiary Amity Law, provides a digital platform for consultant conveyancing lawyers) and SmooveStart (a digital customer onboarding and conveyancing solution for estate agents). It also owns Legal Eye, a provider of legal compliance services.
Acquiring Smoove will help deepen PEXA’s presence in the market by providing access to:
A) More than 75-conveyancer firms through Smoove’s conveyancer platform, in addition to another 2,100 firms through Smoove’s role arranging panels for lenders across the UK market.
B) Remortgage flows equivalent to 7% of the UK market and sale and purchase flows across the Smoove platform that are equivalent to 3% of the UK’s sales1.
C) Opportunities to cross-sell the PEXA platform to panel firms of Smoove (which provides access to volumes both on and outside of the Smoove platform).
D) Important relationships with key Smoove customers such as Lloyds Banking Group, which Smoove has been supporting since 2007.
Mr King said: “We expect there to be a number of benefits in combining Smoove’s established relationships and capabilities with PEXA’s existing operations. These include opportunities to cross-sell Optima and PEXA UK’s remortgage offering to Smoove customers, opportunities to cross-sell PEXA UK’s sale and purchase offering in the future, and opportunities to leverage Smoove’s multi-collaboration toolkit to enhance PEXA’s product suite.”
Smoove Chief Executive Officer, Jesper With-Fogstrup, said: “PEXA Group has a proven track record of successfully digitising the conveyancing industry in Australia. This aligns with our strategy in the UK and we look forward to marrying PEXA’s impressive experience with our deep local knowledge to transform the home ownership experience in the UK. This is an exciting opportunity for Smoove and we will focus on ensuring a smooth transition for customers, colleagues and all stakeholders in the coming months.”
Further information on the integration of Smoove will be provided as part of PEXA’s Half Year Result announcement in early 2024.
Guild of Property Professionals celebrates signing of newest Seymours Office
With 13-other locations already part of The Guild network, Seymours Grayshott becomes the latest office to follow suit in taking a Membership. Formally opening their doors in early December 2023, co-owners Darren Light (Left) and James King (Right), supported by Sarah Johnson, have been familiar faces in the village of Grayshott for over 25 years.
Sarah Johnson, Sales and Administration for the office comments, “there are so many reasons to be part of The Guild, not least of which is its reputation being held in high esteem by those within the industry, including 14 of our own Seymours offices now. The headline reasons that attracted us though, were the strong connections The Guild gives us with other successful independent agents in areas we know demand can be drawn from.
‘”We were also intrigued by The Guild’s strive forward to secure the latest technological advances for its Members, as well as a genuine presence within the London market, which includes the prominent Park Lane address along with 106 other London offices that we are now linked to. Lastly in an industry crowded with average agents, Membership of The Guild sets us apart from the competition and gives us a unique point of differentiation whilst encouraging us to improved and grow.”
Jame King also shared insights into their local property market, stating, “Grayshott and surrounding villages are a very special place, and the market always performs well. Demand for good schooling, strong commuter links, and beautiful surrounding countryside means it retains its allure whatever the market conditions. Despite media predictions, 2023 has been a good year, and December has seen strong activity from proceedable buyers with several deals being secured for our clients.”
When asked about the tools Seymours Grayshott look forward to utilising from The Guild, Darren Light expressed enthusiasm about the referral system, commenting, “the referral system provides genuine and qualified leads, also the fantastic training and compliance that The Guild offer is invaluable, especially in a world of ever-changing legislation.
“The nurtur eco-system is very new to us, but we believe it to be a game changer in taking our business forward.” Seymours Grayshott is set to promote their Guild Membership extensively, with plans to feature branding and advertising within their office, digital window displays, social media platforms, and on every appraisal attended.”
As a community-focused agency, Seymours Grayshott is looking to be actively involved in supporting local events. Sarah Johnson notes, “James, Darren and I have proudly supported local community events for many years and intend to continue this trend. One of the key selling features of Grayshott is that there is such a strong sense of community, and we feel it is very important to support this and help it grow where we can.”
“We are thrilled to welcome Seymours Grayshott to the network. Their commitment to excellence, community involvement, and forward-thinking approach aligns perfectly with our values. The Guild network provides unparalleled opportunities for collaboration, growth, and access to cutting-edge tools. We look forward to supporting Seymours Grayshott in their continued success.”
The Guild of Property Professionals (The Guild) is a network of some of the best independent estate agents from across the UK. The Guild is a sign of professional excellence that agents can use to differentiate themselves from their competitors and assure clients that they will act with knowledge and integrity to achieve results, the three core values of The Guild. To allow agents to perform a superior service, The Guild offers marketing, business and technology services to its members. To find out more use LINK
Andrew Stanton is the founder and CEO of Proptech-PR, a consultancy for Founders of Proptechs looking to grow and exit, using his influence from decades of industry experience. Separately he is a consultant to some of the biggest names in global real estate, advising on sales and acquisitions, market positioning, and operations. He is also the founder and editor of Proptech-X Proptech & Property News, where his insights, connections and detailed analysis and commentary on proptech and real estate are second to none.