Two landlords have agreed to enter talks about a merger deal which would create a mammoth 56,000-home landlord in the north west.
The boards of Liverpool Mutual Homes and Symphony Housing Group have agreed to hold initial, exploratory discussions regarding a partnership.
Symphony, with 41,000-homes is currently the largest landlord based in the region, and joining with 15,000-home LMH would create one of the largest social landlords in the UK.
There is no formal commitment at this stage, but the organisations will carry out a detailed assessment of the potential benefits of a merger over the next few months.
This assessment will inform the decision on whether to progress with the deal. Staff have already been informed of the planned discussions.
Symphony has a projected turnover of £167m this financial year, while LMH has £66m – giving the group a combined £230m in turnover and assets worth more than £1.7bn. Symphony operates a federated structure made up of 10 member organisations and operates in 30 local authorities across the north west.
Phil Gandy, chief executive of Symphony, said: ‘On the face of it, there appears to be an excellent fit between Symphony and LMH which we will test and explore further in the coming months.
‘If it becomes clear that a merger will deliver real and tangible benefits for current and future tenantsand communities we will look to progress the proposal and engage in detail with all of our key stakeholders.’
Steve Coffey, chief executive of LMH, added: ‘It is essential that we continuously look at ways of delivering better value for money so that we can invest in building new homes, improving services and delivering new services for our customers and communities.’
LMH was created following a stock transfer from Liverpool council in 2008. It made a surplus of £13.1m in 2013/14. Symphony, which is based across the north west, made a surplus of £23m in the last financial year.
Mr Gandy added that improving ‘efficiency and value for money, together with improving services’ would be at the heart of any decision.
Source: inside housing