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Purplebricks faces new sale woes

 A case brought by claims firm Contractors for Justice (C4J) against Purplebricks over its agents alleged rights to certain employment benefits has been rejected.

Inspired by recent Uber cases, C4J argued that Purplebricks agents acted as employed staff so were entitled to holiday pay and pension contributions.

But an Employment Tribunal judgement said territory operating companies and local property companies "were run as their own business, assumed their own risks andi nsured against those risks. They were in business on their own account.” 


It comes as C4J last week wrote to the brand’s current chief executive Helena Marston giving six days notice to begin settlement negotiations on the issue.

Failing this, C4J said it would be issuing proceedings in the High Court from midday on 1st June. 

The claim was valued at £8.4m on behalf of 192 claimants but Purplebricks has said the judgement means there will be no negotiations.

That is not the end of the saga though.

Additionally, C4J has questioned the legality of Strike’s deal to acquire Purplebricks.

It highlights a statement Strike made in early May where it said it had no intention to bid.

Strike released a statement on 10 May that said it had no intention to bid for Purplebricks but a sale was a agreed a week later subject to shareholder approval.

The original notice does mention that the intention can be set aside with the Purplebricks board’s permission but C4J has written to the Takeover Panel to question the legality and call for a reversal of the offer.

A spokesperson for Purplebricks said the transaction is compliant with the Takeover Code.

Meanwhile, Purplebricks’ share price got a mini boost on Friday after it revealed an indicative takeover proposal from activist investor and shareholder Lecram Holdings.

Lecram is offering a price of 0.5p per Purplebricks share in cash, rivalling Strike’s favoured bid of taking on the company’s assets and liabilities for £1.

However, the update said the Purplebricks board does not “currently consider” that the proposal reflects an improvement on the proposed sale of business and assets to Strike, “particularly as regards anticipated return to shareholders and certainty for the company's other stakeholders”. 

Despite this, Purplebricks’ share price rose 40% during trading but is still 99% below its listing price at 66p.

  • Roger  Mellie

    Who got commissary now Purple Bricks?


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