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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Purplebricks predicts hybrid agencies to take 30% market share

The chief executive of Purplebricks UK says the struggling hybrid agency is definitely not for sale, despite recent sales of stakes in the company.

Vic Darvey - who earlier this year took over as chief executive after founder Michael Bruce left the company - made the defence of the company’s future in a short interview with the Sunday Telegraph. 

After a period of share sales and purchases in which German publisher Axel Springer ended up with a 27 per cent stake in the company, Darvey told the paper the company was “absolutely not” for sale. 

He added: “We believe the hybrid market place can get to 20 to 30 per cent [market share] in the next five years and they [Springer] believe in that.”

The firm lost £56m in the year to April and shares have fallen 80 per cent from their 2017 peak.

This week the beleaguered City fund manager Neil Woodford - at one time one of the largest shareholders and a vocal advocate of Purplebricks - reduced his stake in the company to below five per cent.

Here is the link to the Telegraph piece, although readers are likely to find it behind a paywall. 

Meanwhile Sunday Times business editor Oliver Shah says Woodford’s decline - financially and in his status as a star fund manager - is down to backing too many “esoteric start ups.”

Shah does not mention any such company by name but he says the new companies required “ever more ambitious and difficult shots” by Woodford and his funds.

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