The chief executive of the newly-expanded Emoov group has been giving details of the merger with Tepilo and the possibility of his firm floating on the London Stock Exchange or combining with a traditional operator in the relatively near future.
Russell Quirk, interviewed by financial news organisation Proactive Investors, says he is comfortable that Emoov - which in late spring merged with Tepilo and lettings platform Urban - is number two in the online agency league table to Purplebricks.
He likens the companies’ respective positions to being like Pepsi Cola and Coca Cola - both well known “but no one knows the number three, four, five or six brand of cola, do they?”
Quirk says Emoov had been talking with Tepilo “on and off” for two years, as it did to “many other competitors.”
“Scaling us up to number two made us more investible and our competitors less investible ... and there were an awful lot of synergies between us and Tepilo. ... They didn’t have a complete senior management team, which we did ... They have a very interesting brand and a brand ambassador in Sarah Beeny, and a very interesting shareholder or two” says Quirk - the latter being a reference to the historic involvement in Tepilo of the Northern and Shell media group.
Quirk says the merged company now wins around 1,000 listings per month “but we see that very much as Ground Zero ... we think that will double over the next 12 months or so.”
He also says that annualised, Emoov’s revenue is currently between £7m and £8m and by late April 2019 - the end of the firm’s financial year - it should be £12m to £13m. “And we’ll be doubling [that] for the 12 months thereafter” he says.
When asked whether listing on the London Stock Market was an option for Emoov, Quirk answers: “Maybe. Everything’s an option. It’s not on the table, it’s not off the table.”
He says his objective for the company is to have future options “whether that’s a trade sale, whether it’s a deal with a private equity house, or ... whether it’s a merger with an incumbent - a traditional estate agency business”.
And Quirk concludes the interview by saying: “If we end up being capitalised one way or another as a £500m, £600m or £700m business in a year or two ... hey, look, it’s not so shabby from a 20 quid domain name I bought back in 2010.”