OnTheMarket (OTM) chief executive Jason Tebb has declared “our time is now” after shareholders backed a takeover of the portal by US property giant CoStar.
It brings an end to the dream of an agent-owned portal to take on Rightmove’s dominance but OnTheMarket will now have the financial backing of CoStar, owner of US portals Homes.com and Apartments.com.
Tebb made the comments on social media posts highlighting the takeover vote.
The takeover was approved by 94.22% of shareholders yesterday, representing 97.28% of share value held.
It means OTM will have one more week on stock market before it is delisted.
BestAgent founder Charlie Lamdin described the situation as a "shameful wasted opportunity."
While not criticising the management, he described OTM on LinkedIn as "just Primelocation2," claiming it was doomed from the start due to the "idiotic" one other portal rule.
Lamdin said: "Yet another sorry tale of an industry predominantly comprised of small owner managed businesses being failed by a few greedy corporates."
CoStar made a £100m takeover bid through its UK arm for OTM in November and vowed to “aggressively” build the business and grow its market share.
The offer is worth 110p per share for OTM.
There was some sadness on social media, with agents and property professionals lamenting the lack of an agent-owned portal.
But even OTM critic and City investor Brett Stone accepted the outcome, despite a series of open letters opposing the deal.
He claims the deal undervalues OTM and will mean increased fees for agents, a claim that CoStar has denied.
In what is probably his final open letter, Stone acknowledged that his views “appear to be the minority.”
He added: “I am not right or wrong because many disagree or do not care, only if I can be disproven with facts. I hope I am wrong, but I fear it will become clear in time that I am not. The possible solutions are digital product and market innovation for the benefit of agents and consumers, and/or political/regulatory intervention.
“Real product and market innovation outside the big three is not economically viable and seems unlikely as things stand, as they can raise prices without materially improving consumers or agents’ experiences.”