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The buyout team is led by Leaders’ managing director, Paul Weller, a highly respected and experienced manager, who has been with the company for 17 years.

The UK lettings market is worth around £2.5 billion a year, and is growing strongly due to the increasing demand for rental properties, driven by the fundamental shortage and decreasing affordability of housing, as well as socio-demographic factors - such as the growing percentage of younger adults who see renting as a preferred lifestyle choice.

Leaders has grown every year since it was founded in 1983, through a combination of strong acquisitive and organic growth, and now comprises 42 branches across the south of England, managing more than 15,000 properties for around 13,000 landlords. It has the largest active tenancy base in most of the regions it serves, and the brand has become synonymous with the highest standards in residential property letting and management.

Since 2005, Leaders has bought and integrated 31 businesses, branches or portfolios, and has developed a leading edge IT and operational infrastructure to enable it to assimilate and capitalise on acquisition opportunities. Over the past five years revenues have grown at 28 per cent per annum, to their current level of approximately £25 million.

Bowmark is investing £21.2 million of equity for a significant majority interest in the company. Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets acquisition finance and RBS Financial Sponsors are co-leading a £14 million senior debt facility. An additional £12 million of further equity and debt funding is being made available for future acquisitions. Bowmark’s knowledge of the sector and its experience of buy-and-build investments were key to the success of the transaction.