The UK housing market has cooled down on the heels of the EU/Brexit referendum vote, but that hasn’t stopped M&A activity around property market companies. Property portal Zoopla — a leader in the UK market with 50 million visits across its apps and sites, and 25,000 business partners integrated with its platform — has announced that Silver Lake has made a cash offer of 490 pence per share for the company, equivalent to about £2.2 billion ($3 billion at current rates). Zoopla has been an acquirer of several new start-ups in the housing space (e.g. data, etc.), let's see how that continues under new ownership.
The figure represents a doubling of the company’s valuation since it went public in 2014 at a valuation of $1.5 billion (it trades as ZPG on the London Stock Exchange). It’s also a 30 percent premium on the company’s last closing price, and makes the deal one of the biggest tech acquisitions to come out of the UK. Zoopla will still have to put the offer to the vote of shareholders and meet other regulatory approvals before the deal is sealed, and if all goes as planned it will close in the third quarter of 2018, Zoopla said. So far, the company directors — led by CEO Alex Chesterman, who founded the company in 2007 — and significant shareholder DMGT (the Daily Mail group), which owns about 30 percent of Zoopla — have both endorsed the offer.