Humberts and Chesterton are to be merged to create a stronger business in the face of the recession.

The Mercantile Group, which owns both companies, will combine the two to create a business with 60 offices across the country, half of which will be in London.

Robert Bartlett, Chesterton’s chief executive, will become chief executive of the merged company, Chesteron Humberts. David Hebditch, Humberts’ interim managing director, will head the company’s rural practice.

‘We’ve identified significant cost and revenue benefits between the businesses which would provide a secure future for the company and enable us to give a broader service offering to our clients,’ said Bartlett.

Chesterton has 23 offices in London and the south east, as well as offices in St Tropez, Gibraltar, Lake Como, Singapore and Australia.

Humberts has 34 offices across the country including four in London. It also owns Kensington and Chelsea estate agent Farleys and Fulham and Battersea estate agent Wellingtons. Both will be part of the new company with Farley keeping its name.

Salah Mussa, who chairs the Mercentile Group, will become chairman of the new business.