McGrath veteran makes his return to the real estate giant

McGrath veteran makes his return to the real estate giant

McGrath (ASX: MEA) has acquired the business of an ex-veteran of McGrath for $2 million, representing the return of John McManus (pictured) back into his old company.

McGrath has acquired McManus' real estate business, currently trading as LJ Hooker Willoughby/Artarmon, as part of the giant's expansion in the lower north shore of Sydney.

McGrath CEO Geoff Lucas says he welcomes McManus back into the fold of McGrath.

"We are excited to welcome John back to McGrath where we expect that he will make a significant contribution to our lower north shore business," says Lucas.

McManus returns to McGrath having been their number one agent in FY2011. He left McGrath to become principal and licensee of LJ Hooker Willoughby/Artarmon in January 2014 where he saw continued success as a real estate professional.

"Having worked with John previously, I believe he is a great example of the style of agent that McGrath will seek to recruit in the future," says Lucas.

"John is without a doubt an elite performer within our industry, and has an outstanding depth of knowledge with respect to the lower north shore market, where he has lived for over 20 years."

McManus says he looks forward to returning to McGrath.

"McGrath is a company where I, like many high performing agents, started their career and honed their skills," says McManus.

"Much of what I have achieved today emanates from McGrath's leadership, training and systemised approach to selling real estate and today, more than ever, their offering continues to be unique."

This $2 million acquisition comes after the real estate company announced a loss of almost $10 million for the first half of FY19.

The loss was blamed on challenging property market conditions and one-off charges for legacy IT development costs and contracts.

Shares in McGrath have been on a steady decline since a new board was appointed in a bid to turn the company's fortunes around.

It was a period marked by sharp profit downgrades, impacts from competitor The Agency snapping up McGrath's top talent, and speculation around founder John McGrath's large gambling debts which were later confirmed as not connected to the company.

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