One of the oldest names in land agency will disappear after the takeover of Cluttons’ rural division by property business Smiths Gore.

The deal, which takes effect from 1 April, will see staff from seven Cluttons’ offices and three of the firm’s equity partners transfer to Smiths Gore. It will take the number of Smith Gore offices from 21 to 25.

Cluttons, which recently lost the management of a large chunk of the Church Commissioners’ rural estate, said it had decided to sell its rural business as part of a strategic repositioning that would see it focus on residential, commercial and overseas opportunities.

Richard Cotton, Cluttons’ senior partner, said the firm’s existing clients and staff were top priority during the process.

“We needed to find a respected firm where our clients would be assured of best-in-class service.”

Smiths Gore’s senior partner Simon Knight said the two businesses were a perfect fit.

“Our business is firmly rooted in the rural sector and our core business is the management of landed estates.”