x
By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.
STAY CONNECTED!
    
newsletter-button
Written by rosalind renshaw

The midas touch of property industry legend Harry Hill looks as though it has not deserted him. This week, he gave a masterclass in how to make £2.5m in five hours.

Hill’s new business, In-Deed Online plc, launched on the Alternative Investment Market on Wednesday, the first time a conveyancing firm has been listed on AIM.

It launched with a share price of 42p, making the company worth £8.75m. But by midday the share price had shot up 31% to 55p, valuing the new company at £11.23m.

In-Deed said it is aiming to become “a market leader in the highly fragmented £1bn conveyancing market within three years”.

The company has three full-time employees. The share prospectus says it plans to grow to nine by September.

In-Deed estimates the current value of the conveyancing market at £1.3bn, based on an average transaction worth £500.

TV’s Phil Spencer will be the  public face of the service, and In-Deed has an 18-month advertising contract with the Digital Property Group, part of the Daily Mail, which runs Findaproperty, Primelocation and Globrix.
 
Around £3m was raised by the business pre-flotation and a further £1.6m is being raised through the sale of shares.

Ironically, Hill, 63, has not always seemed to believe in stock markets. He was chief executive of Countrywide when he decided to take the business off the London Stock Exchange, saying he was tired of “having to take his pants down in public” – a reference to the fact that he was continually having to make public announcements about the state of the business and the housing market.

After Countrywide went private, he became chairman, finally stepping down last year.

He is chairman of the new company which he has established with former 3i partner Peter Gordon, who is managing director. It was 3i  which tried, unsuccessfully, to back Countrywide’s attempts to go private. Countrywide was eventually acquired – at the height of the property market – by US equity firm Apollo.

In-Deed is aiming to offer a transparent and fixed-price service via a panel of legal firms, who must promise to keep customers informed.

Many may query the timing of Hill’s new launch, given that housing transactions are low and not expected to pick up for some time, possibly years, according to some commentators.

In its prospectus, the company says transactions are running “well below” the 2010 average of 884,000 and its directors “are not forecasting a material recovery in volumes within their plans”.

They nonetheless believe that “historic evidence … would suggest there is potential for growth in the market”.

There is also the threat posed by the so-called Tesco law, which comes into force this October and will change conveyancing in the UK by allowing non-legal firms such as supermarkets and the AA to offer legal services. In-Deed said in its prospectus that it recognised the risk that the new regime could introduce many more competitors which would undermine its offering.

The document also reveals that the company plans to move into the will-writing and personal injury legal markets.

Comments

  • icon

    Now what are the chances of that?

    • 13 December 2013 09:54 AM
  • icon

    Is this not the same Harry Hill, who I assume as chairman of CWPLC - was also in control of CPL (Countrywide Property Lawyers) - good luck with that then......

    • 24 April 2013 09:25 AM
  • icon

    wow what a blag herry well done. Its got 3 staff!! the valuation makes the company to be making a profit of a 3 million already!! hahah well done.

    • 20 June 2011 16:43 PM
  • icon

    Quality work, but will it work? He needs introducers, ie Agents, there is already a flood of others doing this servcie- what incentive is there for an agent to have the hassle of change?

    • 20 June 2011 13:03 PM
  • icon

    Please tell me this isn't the same Harry Hill who is a Perrier Award winning English comedian, author and television presenter and a former medical doctor? It must be because it's a joke that a company like this can float on AIM...

    • 17 June 2011 13:27 PM
  • icon

    I intend to set up White Elephant Conveyancing later in the year.

    Well done in raising money for a business with no clients.

    • 17 June 2011 12:30 PM
  • icon

    So high street firms V Harry Hill. Interesting ;)

    http://pzwoody.wordpress.com/2011/06/17/new-harry-hill-company-raises-millions-on-stock-market/

    • 17 June 2011 10:48 AM
  • icon

    He has the Midas touch without doubt.

    The only thing I ever dreamed up to float on the stock exchange was a company to produce wheelchairs for chickens when KFC were having such huge success selling millions of chicken drumsticks to the world. I was advised it was a 'non runner'.

    Oh well! We will watch this won't we?

    3 Staff....... Wow!

    • 17 June 2011 09:52 AM
  • icon

    Toby

    Don'y you get it that is exactly what he is doing. Trying to take the business that estate agents many perceive are wrongly forcing buyers to do through themselves - or risk losing the property. Daily Mail is running a campaign against this see today's (by coincidence) issue of Property Drum which has an article on it.

    Your "offerings" are described by the Mail as "estate agent thieves" !!!

    • 17 June 2011 09:48 AM
  • icon

    I should imagine that us Agents will receive a commission if we use their services. What we must watch out for is it being developed into the 'Rightmove' of conveyancing...then we'll all have another large monthly subscription to pay out! (however, Rightmove works for my business so I'm not complaining - although it could be a bit cheaper).

    • 17 June 2011 09:46 AM
  • icon

    except this is a service that goes up against estate agent legal offerings as it transacts directly with consumers... I can't see agents promoting it...

    • 17 June 2011 09:36 AM
  • icon

    Utter genius of course, yet to complete a transaction, launched in the middle of a sticky market and already worth a fortune.

    Now all he needs to do is get loads of agents supporting it / re selling it, the public to go for it in pretty spectacular fashion, and turn a profit which is something that has eluded the big conveyancing businesses for some time now.

    And of course make sure its nothing like CPL which was set up on his watch, we all know how loved that is, especially by Countrywide staff – there is a difference between having over a thousand offices that are forced to flog conveyancing to feed you and supporting yourself.

    • 17 June 2011 08:52 AM
  • icon

    Utter genius of course, yet to complete a transaction, launched in the middle of a sticky market and already worth a fortune.

    Now all he needs to do is get loads of agents supporting it / re selling it, the public to go for it in pretty spectacular fashion, and turn a profit which is something that has eluded the big conveyancing businesses for some time now.

    And of course make sure its nothing like CPL which was set up on his watch, we all know how loved that is, especially by Countrywide staff – there is a difference between having over a thousand offices that are forced to flog conveyancing to feed you and supporting yourself.

    • 17 June 2011 08:52 AM
Zero Deposit Zero Deposit Zero Deposit