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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Boost for Purplebricks as fund manager Woodford increases his stake

The famed fund manager Neil Woodford has increased his stake in hybrid agency Purplebricks, which last week announced an expansion of its US activities.

It’s now been revealed that Woodford Investment Management Ltd increased its stake in Purplebricks from 26 per cent to 27 per cent - it now holds a total of 81.9 million shares in the agency. 

In April of last year Woodford’s stake in Purplebricks was also standing at 27 per cent, but he sold a small number of shares shortly afterwards. Now he is back to his pre-sale level of investment.

Woodford’s increased stake in the company in recent days came shortly before it announced its expansion in the US.

As we reported on Estate Agent Today on Friday, Purplebricks is tomorrow launching in Las Vegas and Phoenix. Last September 2017, it announced its initial US launch into Los Angeles, with subsequent roll-outs to San Diego, Sacramento, Fresno and New York.

Purplebricks launched in 2014 and Woodford at the time said the firm had “the vision, the technology and an experienced management team” that was perfect for “changing the way we buy and sell houses.”

Woodford has since made few public statements about his investments but around 10 months ago - just before the BBC Watchdog programme ran a highly publicised critique of Purplebricks’ activities - he described the company’s overall performance on the stock market and in disrupting traditional agency as “nothing short of exceptional.”

He expressed his confidence that there was “more significant growth to come for the business in the years ahead.”

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