Strike snaps up Purplebricks for £1


Purplebricks is to be taken over by rival online estate agent Strike assuming its liabilities and paying a token consideration of £1.

The announcement comes a week after Purplebricks said it was negotiating a potential deal with Strike, though Strike insisted then that it had no plans to table and offer.

Purplebricks struggled with a new operating model in 2022 and its woes have continued.

Over the last three months the number of houses Purplebricks has been instructed to sell has not shown the growth anticipated.   There were 5,672 instructions during the quarter, just over half the amount recorded for the same period in 2022.

Purplebricks put itself up for sale in February following a profit warning.

The significant fall in business volumes led the agent’s payment provider for ‘pay now’ sales withholding funds.

The dramatic loss in revenue put huge pressure on cash and the online estate agent no longer saw a realistic return to profitability.

Following completion of the sale, Helena Marston will resign from her role as CEO. The rest of the board (other than Dominique Highfield, the CFO) have indicated their intention to step down following the cancellation of the Ordinary Shares to trading on AIM.

All other employees will transfer to Strike, however it is anticipated that there will be reductions in headcount in the short term as part of a wider cost reduction in the business, which are expected to impact on the size of the field teams and certain central functions.

Commenting on the sale Partner at Strike’s joint major shareholder Freston Ventures   Sir Charles Dunstone says: “We remain committed to the online estate agency model, which offers customers a much better experience at a far lower cost.

“This is a positive outcome for anyone looking to sell their home and save money doing so. Purplebricks has dramatically changed the industry by driving down the cost of estate agency and we aim to combine its significant brand recognition with an even more disruptive business model.

He adds: “In bringing together the two brands, we will supercharge Strike’s mission to democratise house selling by empowering customers to have more control over a process that has barely changed for 200 years. 

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