By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.


Purplebricks urged to bring Countrywide founder on board

Activist investor Lecram Holdings has used its new 5.16% stake in Purplebricks to call for the beleaguered online agent to remove chairman Paul Pindar and replace him with industry stalwart Harry Hill.

Lecram, the investment vehicle of Adam Smith, has written to the Purplebricks board to request a general meeting on the matter.

Under the Companies Act 2006, Purplebricks has three weeks to respond to the letter and has to hold the meeting within another four weeks. 


In the letter to shareholders supporting the requisition, Smith highlighted the continued loss of investors’ money at Purplebricks, adding: “I believe strongly that a new chairman is required now to restore the Company’s credibility with all its stakeholders and to support its executive management team through the challenges which they will face in the medium term.”

Lecram has proposed that Harry Hill joins the Purplebricks board, with the recommendation that he becomes chairman. 

Hill spent 20 years building up Countrywide, which was sold for £1bn, and in his time helped found Rightmove.

Smith added: “Harry is an extremely experienced director with an intimate understanding of the UK property market. He has an excellent and relevant track record of performance which is exactly what Purplebricks needs right now.”

Hill has backed the move.

He said: “There is a fantastic opportunity for Purplebricks to turn itself around and be a real force in the estate agency business. 

“Unfortunately, much of the goodwill, and a large amount of shareholders’ money, has been squandered in recent years and that’s why I believe that by being on the board, my extensive experience in estate agency and proptech can contribute towards Purplebricks getting back on track, stemming the cash burn and finally delivering for investors.”

Purplebricks has confirmed receipt of the notice and said it is considering its legal validity.

The agent said it reaffirms its support for Pindar and believes he has the continued support of a number of major shareholders including Axel Springer.

A stockmarket update from the agent said: “The board is firmly of the view that the Board changes proposed by the Requisition are not in the best interests of the company or its shareholders. 

“Within the company's full-year results announcement, a clear plan was set out to improve business performance, return to positive cash flow and profitability, and build a scalable business model. 

“The board considers that Lecram Holdings Limited's decision to lodge the requisition is disruptive when the company and its executive team are focused on delivery of this turnaround plan.”

  • Algarve  Investor

    Why on earth would Hill want to risk his reputation by joining the circus? It's a more legitimate move than a certain well-known property commentator's idea to bring back the Bruces, but I can't really see what's in it for Hill.

    PB is too far gone in my book, mired in too many scandals to turn it around. I think it will merge or be swallowed up by one of the big traditional agents eventually, or die out like Boomin.

  • icon

    At 75 next birthday, Mr Hill should be enjoying his time not associating himself with this flawed failing outfit.

  • icon
    • S S
    • 09 November 2022 08:45 AM

    Must be a big payday otherwise why esle?

  • Matthew Payne

    It's the operational team that matter. However wise Harry maybe, that experience is required by the implementers from the CEO down and it needs to happen at some pace. Mentoring every 4-8 weeks around the Board room table, however good it may be, won't make the required impact.

  • Glenn Taylor

    The sooner this insolvent fake representation of our industry goes under the better. All these high cash injected companies will be forgotten (cinch/cazoo) boomin addland in 10 years. All borrowed money to bully the markets and put hard working business people out of business. shameful greedy borrowing entrepeneurs. How they get the credibility to borrow £250 million god only knows.


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up