Hunters has agreed to extend the deadline for talks about a possible takeover by its rival, The Property Franchise Group.
In early December TPFG approached Hunters about a possible takeover; TPFG was then given until January 1 to confirm its offer formally.
Now both agency groups have told their shareholders that the deadline is to be extended.
A statement from Hunters says: “Discussions with TPFG regarding a possible offer for the Company remain ongoing and, to allow further time for these discussions, the Board of Hunters has requested, and the Panel on Takeovers and Mergers has granted, an extension to the deadline for TPFG.
“Accordingly, TPFG must, by no later than 5pm on 22 January 2021, either announce a firm intention to make an offer for Hunters ... or announce that it does not intend to make an offer for the Company.”
Hunters is chaired by prominent backbench Conservative MP Kevin Hollinrake and has some 200 franchised branches across the UK and is worth around £20m.
But in market capitalisation terms, TPFG is more than double the size of Hunters and has some 300 branches.
TPFG runs six agency brands: Martin & Co, a national lettings-focused brand; the hybrid EweMove; the CJ Hole agency which is prominent in parts of south west England; Ellis & Co in London; Parkers operating along the M4 corridor; and Whitegates which has branches across the Midlands and the north of the UK.