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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Purplebricks hints at IPO this time next year

Online estate agency Purplebricks says it is likely to make an Initial Public Offering in the second quarter of 2016 ahead of full listing on the Alternative Investment Market. 

"Our view is that an IPO in 2016 is a natural evolution for the business" says Paul Pindar, a former chief executive of outsourcing group Capita Plc and one of the biggest investors in Purplebricks - he owns around five per cent of the company.

Pindar - in an interview with the Reuters news agency - says he expects a pre-IPO financing round to take place in quarter three of this year; Purplebricks’ first two financing rounds, held in the first and third quarters of last year, raised £3m and £8m respectively.

Purplebricks was launched in April of last year by former high street estate agent brothers Michael and Kenny Bruce and has won a series of high-profile and well-funded investors and admirers. 

South African entrepreneur Errol Damelin, founder of payday lender Wonga, is an investor, as is Goldman Sachs’ head of investment banking, Anthony Gutman. Neil Woodford, one of the world’s most successful fund manager, bought a 30 per cent stake in the online agency last summer. 

Recently the agency hired Joby Russel to spearhead advertising and marketing, a role he also still has at price comparison site Confused.com.

Purplebricks allows home-owners to sell their properties for a flat fee of £665 plus VAT. It began selling in south east England but is now in several other parts of the country and is this month officially launching in London. 

Hunters and easyProperty are two other high profile agencies with public ambitions to float in the near future.

  • Trevor Mealham

    As main portals allow budget agents in - maybe portals should drop yheir charges and offer traditional agents budget subscriptions. Seems fair

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    To me it all appears to be a dot com con. Purple Bricks have been going five minutes. Yes they may well receive a high volume of instructions, but their fees are basically a packet of crisps & a pint. Their overheads from what I can see are pretty extensive and appear to be running a business on money raised through lending from very wealthy people. I would love to know how much net profit they have made to date? Truth be known, probably huge losses in real terms. The owners & investors are just building up to a very quick buck. All going to end in tears for some poor souls. 


  • Rob  Davies

    Their adverts are very annoying!

  • Daniel Roder

    Spot on, Keith Russell. I fear this is going to end in tears.

    They do seem to be relying heavily on a few very wealthy investors - if they pull the plug, what happens then? As you say, their business model doesn't seem sustainable in the long-term.

  • Kelly Evans

    They've had lots of people queuing up to invest in them, but so far it would seem they haven't produced any actual results. Other than those naff adverts!

    I too would like to see how much net profit they have made so far. Would make for interesting reading.

  • Richard White

    TheEmperorsNewClothes.Com

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    anotherdotcom5minwonder.com

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    • R M
    • 14 May 2015 17:42 PM

    @Rob, their adverts are misleading. I complained to ASA after I was told on the telly they are open 24hours At 4:30 (am) when I get up, the Live chat was switched off and the phones were answered by an out of hours reception service. Quite how a 24 hour business can have an out of hours service still puzzles me.
    Cutting a long story short, I tried to book a 6 am appointment, that isn't possible!

    The revised advert now claims they are "local" my rep is covering a local area I estimated at about 4000 square miles! How local is that? a radius of 55 miles! We have 52 agencies within 20 miles of here, how can PB claim local with such a thin spread coverage?

  • Rob  Davies

    Haha! So much for the 24 hours service - thought that was their unique selling point.

    Yep, they seem to be going down like a lead balloon.

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