The UK housing market has cooled down on the heels of the EU/Brexit referendum vote, however that hasn’t stopped M&A exercise round property market corporations. Property portal Zoopla — a pacesetter within the UK market with 50 million visits throughout its apps and websites, and 25,000 enterprise companions built-in with its platform — has introduced that Silver Lake has made a money provide of 490 pence per share for the corporate, equal to about £2.2 billion ($three billion at present charges).
The determine represents a doubling of the corporate’s valuation because it went public in 2014 at a valuation of $1.5 billion (it trades as ZPG on the London Inventory Alternate). It’s additionally a 30 p.c premium on the corporate’s final closing value, and makes the deal one of many largest tech acquisitions to come back out of the UK.
Zoopla will nonetheless need to put the provide to the vote of shareholders and meet different regulatory approvals earlier than the deal is sealed, and if all goes as deliberate it can shut within the third quarter of 2018, Zoopla mentioned. Up to now, the firm administrators — led by CEO Alex Chesterman, who based the corporate in 2007 — and vital shareholder DMGT (the Day by day Mail group), which owns about 30 p.c of Zoopla — have each endorsed the provide.
“Silver Lake is the worldwide chief in know-how investing and I’m firmly of the assumption that ZPG will profit from their know-how experience and world community which can assist speed up our development,” Chesterman mentioned in a press release. “The phrases of the Acquisition characterize a beautiful premium that recognises the standard of ZPG’s companies and the power of its future prospects and permits shareholders to understand right this moment in money the potential future worth of their holdings. I’m very excited concerning the alternative this provides to our workers, prospects and companions as we transfer to the following stage of ZPG’s improvement and development.”
Zoopla mentioned that Silver Lake first entered negotiations with it on April 16. The 2 events saved the deal very quiet. There was a surge in Zillow’s share value final week, though this may need been because of the firm promoting the Australian division of one among its analytics subsidiaries, Hometrack, to Australian group REA for £71 million.
From what I perceive, Zoopla had not been purchasing itself round however was approached by Silver Lake unsolicited.
In its acquisition provide announcement, Zoopla didn’t present any up to date figures on its financials. It is because of report half-year outcomes on Might 23. In fiscal yr 2017, Zoopla reported £244.5 million ($331 million) in revenues, up 24 p.c on the yr earlier than, with £37.four ($51 million) million in revenue.
As a degree of comparability, this places Zoopla at a simply over 1 / 4 of the dimensions of its similarly-named US counterpart Zillow, which this week reported revenues of $299.9 million for the earlier quarter. The US firm has a market cap of $7.32 billion and is buying and selling barely up earlier than the market opens.
“ZPG is a superb development know-how firm,” mentioned Simon Patterson, MD of Silver Lake, in a press release. “It has established robust positions in property classifieds, dwelling and monetary providers markets by innovating in product and advertising. We’re delighted to companion with Alex Chesterman, one among Europe’s main and most completed know-how entrepreneurs, to spend money on ZPG’s continued development.”
Zoopla is among the largest property portals within the UK, with a number of different manufacturers together with uSwitch, Cash, PrimeLocation and SmartNewHomes below its wing.
Competing in opposition to the likes of Rightmove, the corporate grew shortly by tapping into the UK house-buying and promoting growth, significantly in London and the southeast, and by the large shift that we’ve seen within the property market, the place folks begin their preliminary searches each for properties — and to determine the numerous different features of shifting (equivalent to what you possibly can afford, buying insurance coverage, discovering mortgages and extra) — on-line.
Like Zillow within the US, Zoopla’s major enterprise lies in offering a portal the place folks can seek for properties and business property to purchase or hire within the UK and overseas. It will get a minimize on referrals and for offering service to actual property brokers, who use the service to assist their properties get extra visibility.
Along with this, the corporate provides different property associated providers equivalent to valuation calculators, property market analytics and different enterprise intelligence instruments for these within the property trade, equivalent to enterprise leads. Different manufacturers on this second class embody Hometrack, Calcasa, TechnicWeb, Ravensworth, Alto, Jupix, ExpertAgent, PropertyFile and MoveIT.