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Bring back Bruce? Sack Pindar? What’s next for Purplebricks? 

Purplebricks’ share price hit a new low last week after it announced a strategic review that could lead to the sale of the business.

The move could effectively take the beleaguered brand private.

The Purplebricks share price ended the week at 8.1p, having fallen even lower to 7.74p during trading.


It comes after the brand said in a stockmarket update last Friday that it is considering an alternative ownership structure to ‘better realise the potential of the group.’

Purplebricks said this “may or may not result in a sale of the company or some or all of the group's business and assets.”

Analysts and shareholders are aready questioning the best options for Purplebricks.

Davy analyst David Reynolds told Estate Agent Today: “In broad terms this is what we have expected. Purplebricks has had the revolving door of senior figures, market share loss and confusion about its business model.

“This had a certain inevitability to it and the conclusion to this type of review is usually to sell the business.

“I don’t think the current team add any value to the business.

“It feels like the brand has deteriorated. The question is who would buy it?

He suggested there are no obvious agency buyers, especially as firms have their own struggles now in the slower property market and cost of living crisis.

Reynolds suggested that Purplebricks major backer Axel Springer could be an “obvious choice” to take it private.

He also highlighted that Purplebricks chairman Paul Pindar – who last year survived attempts to oust him – could use his own private equity house to take the business on.

Another interested party, Reynolds suggested, could be founder Michael Bruce who now finds himself without a business after his Boomin venture went into administration last year.

Lecram Holdings, which has a 5.16% stake in Purplebricks and has been calling for Pindar to step down as chairman, said in a statement responding to the review: “It is regrettable that the lack of relevant experience at helm of Purplebricks, which we highlighted last June, has led the company to arrive at this unfortunate juncture.

“We are calling for a swift conclusion of the strategic review and, should it not lead to an acceptable offer for the company, that the chairman immediately stands down and the board, in consultation with us and other shareholders, brings in someone with the knowledge and capability to guide Purplebricks back to profitability.”

This was a move backed by reviews website allAgents.

Martin McKenzie, spokesperson for allAgents, said: "Purplebricks doesn't need to be sold, all that is required is a new chairman and a fresh direction.”

Meanwhile, former City analyst turned founder of proptech firm Twindig Anthony Codling said he had questioned the “logic and sustainability of Purplebrick's business model” since 2018.

He said: “The fixed fee model works well for the 'for sale by owner' market who are looking for the cheapest way to list their home on the property portals but are not expecting the 'agent' to do the heavy lifting.  

“I believe that the problem facing Purplebricks is that they thought their offering was for the mass market when ultimately it only appealed to a niche market and they have been chasing the wrong market for too long.

“I hope that during the course of their strategic review, they find their way and that they are able to negotiate a nice low fixed fee with their advisers.”

  • Samantha Sullivan

    Paul Pindar is the only one holding the ship afloat.
    Why hasn't Axel taken the company private? Anyway, no Agents left, they think charging high fees for mortgages and using the conveyer belt solicitors will ride them through. Ouch.


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