May 11, 2018
US private equity firm to buy UK property website Zoopla for £2.2bn
US private equity group Silver Lake has agreed to buy the company behind the property search website Zoopla in a £2.2bn all-cash deal, six months after the UK group failed in its bid for insurance comparison site GoCompare. Silver Lake, which is based in Menlo Park, California, will pay 490p a share for ZPG, which also owns the household energy comparison site uSwitch, another property website Prime Location and personal finance comparison site Money.co.uk. The offer is at a 31 per cent premium to ZPG's closing price of 375.2p a share on Thursday and a 24 per cent premium to the all-time high of March 2017, according to ZPG and Silver Lake. Roddy Davidson, analyst at Shore Capital, has previously said he was "Bullish" about the prospect of ZPG being able to cross-sell products between its property listing and price comparison businesses, while Andrew Ross, analyst at Barclays, said the deal supported his "Long held view" that ZPG had boosted its value with the promise of cross-selling. In November, the group announced the acquisition of a Dutch property market data company, while last January it bought Hometrack for £120m. Alex Chesterman, Zoopla founder and ZPG chief executive, said: "Silver Lake is the global leader in technology investing and I am firmly of the belief that ZPG will benefit from their technology expertise and global network which will help accelerate our growth."
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