Silver Lake makes a $3B offer to buy property portal Zoopla, the Zillow of the UK – TechCrunch

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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 firms. 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 supply 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 % premium on the corporate’s final closing worth.

Zoopla will nonetheless need to put the supply 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. To date, the corporate administrators — led by CEO Alex Chesterman, who based the corporate in 2007 — and vital shareholder DMGT (the Each day Mail group), which owns about 30 % of Zoopla — have each endorsed the supply.

“Silver Lake is the worldwide chief in expertise investing and I’m firmly of the idea that ZPG will profit from their expertise experience and international community which is able to assist speed up our progress,” Chesterman mentioned in an announcement. “The phrases of the Acquisition characterize a pretty premium that recognises the standard of ZPG’s companies and the power of its future prospects and permits shareholders to understand at present in money the potential future worth of their holdings. I’m very excited in regards to the alternative this presents to our staff, clients and companions as we transfer to the following stage of ZPG’s growth and progress.”

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 worth final week, though this might need been because of the firm promoting the Australian division of considered one of its analytics subsidiaries, Hometrack, to Australian group REA for £71 million.

In its acquisition supply 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 12 months 2017, Zoopla reported £244.5 million ($331 million) in revenues, up 24 % on the 12 months earlier than, with £37.four ($51 million) million in revenue.

As some extent of comparability, this places Zoopla at a simply over 1 / 4 of the scale 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 progress expertise firm,” mentioned Simon Patterson, MD of Silver Lake, in an announcement. “It has established sturdy positions in property classifieds, house and monetary companies markets by innovating in product and advertising. We’re delighted to companion with Alex Chesterman, considered one of Europe’s main and most achieved expertise entrepreneurs, to spend money on ZPG’s continued progress.”

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 towards the likes of Rightmove, the corporate grew shortly by tapping into the UK house-buying and promoting increase, notably in London and the southeast, and by the massive shift that we’ve seen within the property market, the place folks begin their preliminary searches each for houses — and to determine the numerous different features of transferring (resembling what you’ll be able to afford, buying insurance coverage, discovering mortgages and extra) — on-line.

Like Zillow within the US, Zoopla’s main enterprise lies in offering a portal the place folks can seek for houses and business property to purchase or lease within the UK and overseas. It will get a lower 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 presents different property associated companies resembling valuation calculators, property market analytics and different enterprise intelligence instruments for these within the property business, resembling enterprise leads. Different manufacturers on this second class embody Hometrack, Calcasa, TechnicWeb, Ravensworth, Alto, Jupix, ExpertAgent, PropertyFile and MoveIT. 

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