Funding

Rich Lister Paul Little snaps up Real Estate Corp for $60 million

Melinda Oliver /

Little Group, the private property company owned by Rich Lister Paul Little has made a $60.7 million offer for rental listing company Real Estate Corp.

The offer of 37 cents per share has been endorsed by the directors of Real Estate Corp, who currently own approximately 57% of the business, meaning Little Group will get majority control of the business.

Real Estate Corp trades as Run Property, Agentplus and Maintenance Matcher.

Little Residential chief executive officer Phil Meggs told SmartCompany the move was “unanimously supported by the board” of Real Estate Corp, and was a “great opportunity” for both businesses.

The offer is open for acceptance by Real Estate Corp shareholders until late March. Meggs says the integration of the businesses will occur over coming months.

Meggs says with inner city living increasing, and many people choosing to rent longer term rather than purchase, the time is ripe to invest more in the rental sector.

He says the goal is to “lead the way” in the rental sector, adding the Real Estate Corp network of around 15,000 properties to the existing rental business run by Little Group, which manages around 3000 properties across Australia.

“Previously the property rental market has been quite a cottage industry…this is the chance to invest more in services, customer experiences, and transparency,” he says.

“There are fantastic people in the business on both sides…we will aim to keep everyone in key roles.”

Meggs says the group will assess whether to keep the well-known Run Property name, or change it to Little Group, or alternatively, use different names in different markets.

He says the new business will focus on training real estate agents to high standards and improving the reputation of the industry. New salespeople will also be recruited in coming months.

Little told The Australian the move was the chance to “flesh out service levels we think are important in our chosen area of the real estate market”.

“As we started to break down some of the barriers and offer not just the opportunity for someone to buy one of our apartments but then for us to rent it for them and then one day sell it for them, we’ve found a huge interest in embracing this integrated or seamless approach to real estate,” Little said.

Little Group has a variety of businesses in the real estate development and rental sectors. Meggs says it has around $1 billion of development projects in the works.

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