Richardson & Wrench group has new owner

Richardson & Wrench group has new owner
Richardson & Wrench group has new owner

Richardson & Wrench, one of the oldest real estate groups in Australia, has been bought by Andrew Cocks, its managing director.

The sale concluded negotiations between Cocks and the Wong family which has owned Richardson & Wrench Group since 1988.

Mr Cocks, who was appointed to the group in 2009, became a R&W director last month along with his wife, Allison.

It has independently owned offices in NSW and Queensland of 98 franchise territories, the two most recent being Goulburn and Maitland.

The mainstays of the network founded in 1858 are its offices at Noosa, Double Bay, Elizabeth Bay and Mosman.

No sale price has been given on the business which had 123 offices when last sold for $11 million by businessman Neil Collins to the Malaysian interests, associated with the WTK Group of Companies which has timber, mining and shipping interests in South-East Asia.

It was the first Australian investment by the Malaysian-based group directed locally by Maroubra resident Mr K.C. Wong from 1988 until 2013. 

At the time Richardson and Wrench was the fourth largest Australian franchise network behind the 400-office L J Hooker chain, the 180-office Raine and Horne network and the 170-office ERA-Ray White group.

Established in 1902, in the small Queensland country town of Crows Nest, Ray White has evolved into Australasia’s biggest group with over 1,000 individual offices across Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, China, the Middle East and Atlanta USA. Last year, Ray White sold over $40 billion worth of property.

The 1988 R&W consortium aimed at doubling the numbers of franchise offices, according to then Australian-based consortium member, Michael Sanchez.

The Wong's have decided on "a refocus of the group’s investments."

Prior to 1988 the business had traded in 1982 when Lend Lease Corporation sold it after 21 years ownership for just under $2 million on a turnover of about $100 million.

Turnover was boosted to $250 million by 1985 and around $750 million in 1988 with its then base of 78 offices in NSW, 34 offices in Queensland, seven in Western Australia and four in the ACT.

Its then owner Neil Collins secured $11 million then going into partnership with the Southern Pacific Hotel Corporation in developing the Travelcourt chain of 30 economy hotels around the country.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of our authors. Jonathan has been writing about property since the early 1980s and is editor-at-large of Property Observer.

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