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Purplebricks agrees sale to Strike for £1

Purplebricks has agreed a sale of its business to online rival Strike for a consideration of £1.

It brings an end to its formal sale process and strategic review and will also see chief executive Helena Marston and the majority of the board resign once the deal completes.

The sale includes transferring Purplebricks business, assets and all of its liabilities to Strike Limited.


It will retain up to a maximum of £5.5m of its cash reserves at deal completion and these net proceeds will be returned to Purplebricks shareholders following transaction costs, a stock market update said.

Purplebricks said this deal was the only one which had the certainty of funding and necessary speed of delivery and was supported by all its directors as well as major backer Axel Springer.

The proposed deal and plans to delist post-completion are still subject to shareholder approval.

Most of the company's board, other than chief financial officer Dominique Highfield who will remain as chief financial officer for a transitional period, have said they will step down.

All other employees will transfer to Strike, however it is anticipated that there will be reductions in headcount in the short term “as part of a wider cost reduction in the business, which are expected to impact on the size of the field teams and certain central functions,” the update said.

Following cancellation of the shares on the Alternative Investment Market,  Purplebricks proposes to re-register as a private company, changing its name to Bricks Newco Limited.

Paul Pindar, current chairman of Purplebricks, said this was the best option for shareholders after other routes were considered.

He addd: “I am disappointed with the financial value outcome, both as a 5% Shareholder myself and for Shareholders who have supported the company under my and the board's stewardship. 

“However, there was no other proposal or offer which provided a better return for shareholders, with the same certainty of funding and speed of delivery necessary to provide the stability the company needs.”

Marston defended her record, adding: "When I became chief executive 12 months ago, my focus was a wholesale raising of standards within the business and to chart a course towards positive cash generation. 

“This included delivering £21m of cost savings, stabilising lettings, new revenue streams, raising our prices and much improved financial transparency and control. 

“We have achieved many of these goals, but my view and that of the board in February was that we would be better placed to realise our full potential under private ownership. 

“However, the strategic review and formal sale process created increased uncertainty in the business resulting in a need to draw this process to conclusion, which has also been accentuated by the timing of expiry of our relationship which lets us provide pay later solution.

“Taking the actions we did has allowed us to secure a solvent outcome, which protects the future of the business and the Purplebricks consumer driven brand, alongside the benefits of further investment. It has been a challenging and uncertain time but the passion and commitment of our people has been tremendous and I sincerely wish everyone the very best for the future."

Sir Charles Dunstone, partner at Strike backer Freston Ventures, said: "We remain committed to the online model, which offers customers a much better experience at a far lower cost. 

“This is a positive outcome for anyone looking to sell their home and save money doing so. Purplebricks has dramatically changed the industry by driving down the cost of estate agency and we aim to combine its significant brand recognition with an even more disruptive business model.

In bringing together the two brands, we will supercharge 

“Strike's mission to democratise house selling by empowering customers to have more control over a process that has barely changed for 200 years.

“At Freston Ventures we are focused on building household brands that are trusted by consumers across the UK. We believe there is a better way to sell your house and through this deal, we are developing the market-leading brand to deliver it." 


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    Sir Charles Dunstone with a statement like that, has definitely lost the plot. "A better experience at far lower cost". He should get a job at the Comedy Store.

  • Simon Shinerock

    All in all it’s just another brick in the wall

  • Mike Lewis

    I've never considered PB to be an estate agency but more of a tech company offering a property listing service.

  • Samantha Sullivan

    OK so, how does this work with GDPR? They would have to ask all customers if they are happy to pass their details to Strike and surely if they have instructed purplebricks they can withdraw and get their money back as they are no longer getting the service they've signed up for?
    Nobody has thought of the customers or the agents who have to deal with this fall out.

  • Kristjan Byfield

    What is sad to see from Sir Charles is this retained rhetoric about the fact that online is somehow 'better' than personal. I think the array of casualties to date, and the hundreds of millions lost- quite clearly indicates otherwise. Few tears will be lost for PB or those that came and went before them (and those yet to follow). Here are some questions for Strike and others who will no doubt see this as an opportunity:
    If the online process really is better why is it cheaper?
    Why does online have to operate in direct opposition to personal?
    With agency operations largely transformed over the last 5 years what is the big difference with online other than price?
    With the prevalence of AI why hasn't online taken advantage of this sooner?
    With so much data and automation why is the cost of client acquisition so high?

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    Its all comisery


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