Humberts has bought franchise Humberts East Midlands for £2.75m in a bid to strengthen its position in the region.

The property services firm Humberts, formerly known as the Farley Group and backed by Vincent Tchenguiz, paid £1.1m in cash for the franchise operation while the remainder will be paid with the issue of 578,034 AIM shares at 86.5p a share. There will also be a deferred consideration payable in loan notes and cash of between £750,000 and £1.6m over the next three years dependent on the financial performance of the business.

Humberts said the acquisition would strengthen its position in the east Midlands and contribute further revenues to the group's residential, commercial and rural divisions

Humberts East Midlands was formed from the merger of three separate businesses under common ownership and has six offices located in Grantham, Lincoln, Newark, Nottingham, Melton Mowbray and Stamford. It had consolidated net assets of £340,000 in December last year and generated a pre-tax profit of £544,000 for the year to 31 December 2006.

The purchase by the AIM-listed Humberts follows a share placing which raised £11.4m last year to fund an expansion programme.

Max Ziff, chief executive officer at Humberts, said: ‘Humberts is a business which is committed to growth both organically and through acquisition. The East Midlands is an important market for us and this base will allow us to build on the strength of the brand both in the region and in our continued expansion across the country.”