Financial News

  • 23 May 2014, 16:49

Hot Property: Flotation To Value Zoopla At 1.2bn

Zoopla, the UK's second-largest property website, has announced plans to float on the stock exchange with a proposed value of 1.2bn.

The sale of at least 25% of the firm, which only launched in 2008, aims to tap into the upturn in the housing market.

The company's last half-year revenues were just over 38m.

The offer will only be open to financial institutions, such as banks and pension funds, and estate agents and developers.

Some 86% of Zoopla revenues come from estate agents' fees.

The website has 40 million users a month.

Only shares held by its existing owners, including founder Alex Chesterman and the Daily Mail Group Trust (DMGT), will be sold.

Mr Chesterman, the company's chief executive, declined to predict how much the share offer would raise but said he expected DMGT - which holds a 52.6% stake - to remain the largest shareholder.

He said the firm planned to launch additional products and services after the sale and to move into other parts of the property market, such as commercial property, with overseas expansion a possibility in the future.

He said: "With over 40 million visits per month to our websites and mobile applications, generating over two million inquiries every month for our members, Zoopla Property Group has become an indispensable link in the property search process for consumers and the property marketing process for professionals across the UK."

The move comes as the fashion chain Fat Face ditched plans to float, following disappointing stock market debuts by other businesses.

The firm, which is controlled by the private equity firm Bridgepoint and has former M&S boss Sir Stuart Rose as its chairman, said current market conditions were largely to blame for the decision.

It added: "The board remains confident in the prospects for the business and will continue to execute the growth plans which are already under way."

In recent weeks Card Factory, another retailer, has disappointed after coming to the market.

Meanwhile, discount chain B&M, headed by former Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy, has confirmed its intention to join the stock market in the coming weeks.

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