LLOYDS TSB has sold its Black Horse chain of estate agents to the Bradford and Bingley Building Society.

The price tag was £56 million in cash. Bradford and Bingley will take on all of Lloyds 370 estate agency branches around the UK, including the Black Horse chain itself, TSB Property Services and Slater Hogg and Howison. The businesses employ around 3,300 staff. Bradford and Bingley, which has 230 high street branches, does not have an estate agency business of its own. Both organisations have branches throughout Sussex. Last month, when Bradford and Bingley announced it was planning to buy the business, it described the acquisition as "a good strategic fit". Lloyds reported a profit of £30 million on the sale, but after charging for goodwill written off on acquisition the banking group will record a net loss of £100 million in its accounts. Bradford and Bingley did not enter the estate agency market during the property boom of the 1980s, which resulted in a huge shake-up in the industry and left many companies that moved into the housing market with burnt fingers. Black Horse Agencies Group was set up by Lloyds TSB in 1982 and it was grown through a series of acquisitions.

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