Dowen Estate Agents, which has a head office in Hartlepool and seven additional branches along with a bespoke Auction Department across the North East, has been acquired in a management buy-out funded by HSBC.

The full-service estate agency offers a wide range of property related services covering sales, lettings, auctions, surveys, mortgages and conveyancing.

The company was acquired by John Nicholson and Trudie Bowes, now joint managing directors, from retiring managing director Denis Dowen.

John and Trudie have a comprehensive understanding of the business having been at Dowen Estate Agents for over 35 years combined. They enjoyed a very close working relationship with Mr Dowen prior to his retirement and are eager to use the strong foundations established by Mr Dowen to take the agency forward.

Founded in 1982, the firm has continued to evolve, and its residential sales department has sold tens of thousands of properties. It is a founding member of The Great North East Property Auction and since 2012 has exceeded 2500 sales. The lettings part of the business also has hundreds of homes under management.

John commented: “Trudie and I have been part of the business for so many years and have watched it go from strength to strength, it’s a real privilege to be a co-owner of a five star estate agents and we look forward to building on the success the different businesses have enjoyed to date.”

Trudie said: “We have an amazing team of agents at Dowen, who are focussed on giving great customer service, and are truly passionate about what they do.”

Commercial law firm, Square One Law and leading independent firm of chartered accountants, UNW advised the management team.

John added: “We are grateful to our advisers Square One Law and UNW for their clear advice and support throughout the process – we couldn’t have done it without them.”

Charlie Fielding, corporate partner at Square One Law, said: “We are delighted to have advised John and Trudie. Although we are experiencing challenging market conditions, John and Trudie’s extensive experience puts them in great stead and the management buy-out enables them to seize the opportunity and take the business forward.”

Corporate finance advice was provided by UNW, led by Corporate Finance Partner John Healey and Senior Manager Katy Lamb.

Katy Lamb, Corporate Finance Senior Manager at UNW said: “We are delighted to have advised John and Trudie in the MBO of Dowen’s. As with the overall economy, the M&A markets have been in a state of flux over last few months, and it is great to see that management buyouts involving ambitious management teams, supportive banks and high quality businesses are still being completed. Dowen’s has a strong market position and we wish John and Trudie all the best in their efforts to develop the business further.”