19 Apr 2018
- Placing Size:
- Post Deal Mkt Cap: £980m
Zeus Capital acted on behalf of Purplebricks Group plc (PURP LN) on the strategic investment of £125 million in the company by Axel Springer, the German media group (the “Strategic Investment”).
The Strategic Investment included a £100 million subscription for new shares and the purchase of £25 million of existing shares. The new monies will be used to:
- Accelerate rollout in the US
- Support entry into new markets
- Fund technological innovation and expand Purplebricks’ service offering
Axel Springer is Europe’s leading digital publisher, listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange with a market capitalisation in excess of €7 billion, owning a portfolio of media, marketing and advertising channels:
- Axel Springer operates leading European real estate portals such as SeLoger, Immowelt and Immoweb
- Following the transaction, Axel Springer owns approximately 11.5 per cent. of Purplebricks’ share capital
- Dr Andreas Wiele, an executive board member of Axel Springer and President “Classifieds Media”, has been appointed as a non-executive director on Purplebricks' board of directors
The Strategic Investment was made at a price of 360p per ordinary share, representing a premium of 8.6 per cent. to the 10 trading days volume weighted average price (VWAP) immediately prior to the date of the announcement.
Michael Bruce, Chief Executive of Purplebricks, said:
"It is fitting that on the cusp of our four year anniversary we continue to push boundaries and challenge conventional thinking. The strategic partnership with Axel Springer is ground breaking and will propel Purplebricks further towards our strategic goals and global ambition. We now have the platform, funding and, through Axel Springer’s experience, as well as the appointment of four new leading non- executive directors, the expertise to achieve our vision.
Purplebricks continues to be a pioneer and a consumer champion, providing customers with a better and more cost effective way to buy, sell and let property through the combination of technology and first class people. Our feedback, which has just broken through 40,000 UK reviews on Trustpilot, with an average score of 9.6 out of 10 is further evidence that consumers across countries are embracing change and recognise the benefits we deliver. The funds raised will be used to put even more clear blue water between us and our competitors in terms of customer service and bring the Purplebricks offering to new territories. We are confident in the future, welcome the endorsement of Axel Springer and look forward to continuing to deliver value for all of our shareholders.”
Dr Andreas Wiele, President Classifieds Media Axel Springer SE, said:
"Under the leadership of its founder Michael Bruce, Purplebricks has created a highly innovative digital real estate platform and has become the clear market leader in the UK in a short space of time. For Axel Springer, this minority stake offers the opportunity to participate in an innovative, fast growing business model in new markets."