Estate Agent Today has been given details of responses made by administrators to an enquiry about the possible acquisition of some of Emoov’s remaining assets.
Emoov, the online agency led by Russell Quirk, collapsed officially eight days ago; it claimed to have run out of money because investment pledged during its merger with online agencies Tepilo and Urban in the spring had not arrived as expected.
Now a highly reliable source has told EAT of their own dealings with the administrators, James Cowper Kreston, when enquiring about the sale of Emoov’s remaining assets.
The source said that no specific value had been attached by the administrators to a software platform developed by Emoov. This appears to the software and platform about which Quirk told the trade press only 10 days ago: “We have spent £7m on excellent technology. It would probably take someone two years and £10m to build something similar.”
Meanwhile Emoov’s property listings - believed to have been some 5,000 on Emoov and Tepilo at the time the company went into administration last Monday - were being valued at around £100,000 by the administrators.
These listings were described by the source as possibly being subject to some form of revenue sharing between any buyer and the administrators acting for Emoov.
In addition, contractual obligations existed at the time Emoov collapsed and the administrators apparently informed interested parties that these may have to be honoured.
EAT put these specific points to the administrators who told us yesterday evening: “We have negotiations running with more than one interested party. Details of those negotiations remain confidential as far as we are concerned. That said, we can confirm that we are looking to interested parties to honour the contractual commitments to clients. We are not looking to prospective purchasers to pay the administrators’ fees. We hope to be in a position to announce more shortly.”
EAT has also been told by the source that has contacted the administrators that they anticipated that a buyer may eventually be a High Street agency rather than another online operator.
A week ago today James Cowper Kreston put out a statement saying that it wanted to minimise disruption to the vendors whose properties were listed on Emoov and Tepilo.
“As a number of prospective buyers have indicated an interest in purchasing the client property listings, therefore, the administrators will be exploring the transfer of these to other providers as a priority. It is expected that a further announcement will be made on this in the coming days” the statement said at the time.
It is thought the administrators have a maximum of eight weeks now to inform creditors of their future plan for Emoov’s assets.
There has so far been no further comment from Purplebricks, which last week suggested - via a tweet by global chief executive Michael Bruce - that it may be able to assist stranded sellers recover at least some of their money.