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Zoopla on the hunt for more acquisitionsZoopla Property Group is looking for more potential acquisitions following its surprise announcement that it is buying price comparison website uSwitch.

ZPG founder and chief executive Alex Chesterman has told the Financial Times that he is on the lookout for other acquisition opportunities although that there are no immediate plans for further diversification.

The City welcomed the uSwitch acquisition, with Zoopla's share price closing up 16.76 per cent yesterday, on a day when the FTSE dipped slightly overall. It was the market's biggest gain over the day, and at one time in the early afternoon the Zoopla share price showed a 17.82 per cent rise.

The acquisition of uSwitch - regarded by many in the consumer press as the most authoritative of the price comparison websites - puts Zoopla into competition with

services like Moneysupermarket and Gocompare, as well as pure property portals such as Rightmove and OnTheMarket.

The uSwitch purchase - which with performance-related payments may cost £190m - puts into context the recruitment by Zoopla of Gareth Helm, brand director of Moneysupermarket.

Helm, who was responsible for brand marketing across Moneysupermarket, Travelsupermarket and Moneysavingexpert, will report directly to Alex Chesterman and be responsible for ZPG's overall marketing strategy.

Meanwhile, Zoopla has released its results for the six months to the end of March, which showed a 23 per cent fall in the number of estate agency members to 12,449.

However, there was an 89 per cent rise in overseas members and a six per cent rise in new-build developer members.

Zoopla says UK agency member churn is returning to normal levels.

Comments

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    He was like online is to High Street Agency, Mr Davies...

    ...a poor imitation.

    ;o)

    • 01 May 2015 17:41 PM
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    There was a Google Property Anything they've tried outside of search engines is usually naff. So they just end up buying out things like YouTube instead. Like the easyJet brand unsuccessfully muscling into the property industry, it's sometimes better to stick to what you know.

    • 01 May 2015 16:18 PM
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    Who's Mike Yarwood Not all of us are old enough to remember.

    • 01 May 2015 15:21 PM
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    Is not a USP or OTM the exclusivity and quality of the agencies involved and experience etc of their staff If it is then why not shout it

    • 01 May 2015 14:00 PM
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    Mr Davies

    For someone who professes NOT to be an anti-OTM lobbyist, you do a better impression of one than Mike Yarwood ever could have managed...

    • 01 May 2015 12:00 PM
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    "Rightmove has become the Google of property."

    Erm... actually, the "Google of property" WAS "Google Property" - for about ten minutes - but they made a balls-up of it and it fell off the face of the earth.

    I don't know ANYONE who uses 'uSwitch' for anything. Do you

    • 01 May 2015 11:57 AM
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    You need a LOT of money to advertise to put your portal in front of people. Rightmove has become the Google of property. uSwitch site will no doubt drive more traffic to Zoopla - it will be interesting to see.

    • 01 May 2015 10:43 AM
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    Sorry, off the subject but what happened to Houser All that build up and nothing. They have been far less successful than OTM after all their boasting about changing the game etc.

    The problem is, the UK only needs a couple of portals. That's why needaproperty, fish4homes and globrix never brought any leads. Z and RM have proven that there is only room for 2 portals, and I guess it is just a case of toppling at least one of those so the agents who helped to build them can finally gain more control with their own.

    Rightmove will never die, but Zoopla has been seriously deflated after losing a quarter of its members, and there is a real possibility now that OTM will become more and more recognized by the public.

    • 01 May 2015 10:33 AM
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    You're right, but you won't be popular with about half of the commenters on these boards.

    • 01 May 2015 10:20 AM
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    P - "Rightmove have barely made a peep since the whole OTM ordeal began"

    Yes - but all for a good reason. They don't have to say anything. They're letting Z slug it out with OTM first - watching and waiting.

    WHEN RM start, it won't be pretty and certainly not painless, I fear.

    • 01 May 2015 09:55 AM
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    It seems the pro-AM/OTC camp are getting more and more bitter. Not surprising as they continue to pay for non-existent leads and forced to market a sham. More than this they've also lost a stream of other leads. Do they think with their brains or their balls

    • 01 May 2015 09:14 AM
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    It would appear Zoopla are trying to desperately diversify and expand their business after having lost so many clients in recent months.

    You notice how Rightmove have barely made a peep since the whole OTM ordeal began They have played it cool and in the process have probably influenced more and more OTM agents to stay with them. Shame when you actually meet with the reps they are a bunch of tossers.

    • 01 May 2015 08:31 AM
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