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Purplebricks valued at £250m and preparing stock market listing?

Online estate agency Purplebricks is reported to be preparing a stock market listing valuing it at close to £250m.

The company is said by Sky News (a favourite source of leaked information about Purplebricks) to have informed shareholders in recent days that it wants to float - possibly as soon as early next month - and it has appointed Zeus Capital, an investment bank, to manage the process. 

Early this year the so-called ‘star’ fund manager Neil Woodford increased his stake in Purplebricks to more than 25 per cent - but even at that point the company was valued at around £100m, far short of the current estimation. 

Sky says the company is thought by some to be the fourth-largest estate agency in the UK with a 60 per cent market share of new online instructions.

The news outlet says: “A person close to Purplebricks said the rapid expansion was partly the result of its 'hybrid' model, which is based on local property experts who manage the entire sale process.”

Today's development represents a speeding up of the float timetable, which had previously expected an initial public offering next spring.

Purplebricks was founded by brothers Michael and Kenny Bruce. Other investors attracted to the firm include former Capita chief executive Paul Pindar, who made a ‘significant’ investment a month before its launch and the former boss of payday lender Wonga, Errol Damelin.

  • Fake Agent

    £250m! Blimey O'Reilly. Not bad going, you have to say. Does this mean those dire adverts can now come off air?

    Also, with regards to their "24 hour service", people I've spoken to haven't seen much evidence of that.

    Still, it's hard to argue with their success too much, even if they have had plenty of big money investors backing them along the way.

  • Kristjan Byfield

    So 30% of the biz was bought 3 years ago for £7m and that stake is now worth £75m? Of course it is. A brief search on line shows debts of £1.2m (or thereabouts). I genuinely see a place for online agents as a large part of the market, but I think currently the hye surrounding them is being used to rip off investors who will never see a return on that valuation (simialr thoguhnts when EP did their crowd funding recently) and they risk damaging their whole sector, blinded by short term greed.
    I am yet to see any online agents post the profits to justify the hype surrounding biz valuations and funding chases.

  • Clive Bryant

    It astonishes me that we spend most of our time discussing a part of the property business that has accumulated only a 5% share even after millions of pounds of TV advertising. The sleeping giants of the Independent and Corporate sectors who occupy 95% are seldom discussed. The easy property valuation seems bizarre when they have just found an emergency lifeboat in The Guild members. That relationship seems to spell uncertain times for the agents who take up the offer as it could damage their core brand. The sooner agents take back control from rightmove and the like by delaying the release of their data the better. New instructions should be launched on your own website/Facebook first then delivered to the portals and thus the customer and the agent have the opportunity to see the property as a fresh instructions at lease three or four times if you use a mailing list. Multi layered marketing and it gives the consumer confidence that you have a strategic launch rather than the usual "lazy boy" launch of just pushing the rightmove button. That also gives the agent more cross selling opportunities and hopefully more Valuations! The only real group of Independently affiliated estate agents is team which is owned by the members for the members. Maybe worth a look.


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