UK property website Zoopla to float

Thursday 22 May 2014 08.55
Zoopla plans to list a portion of its shares on the London Stock Market
Zoopla plans to list a portion of its shares on the London Stock Market

British property website Zoopla plans to list its shares as its majority owner Daily Mail & General Trust (DMGT) moves to tap into the strong sentiment around the UK property sector. 

The flotation of the country's second-largest property website behind Rightmove follows recent listings by online groups AO World and Just Eat and property agent Foxtons last year. 

Zoopla said today that shares held by its existing owners, including founder Alex Chesterman, DMGT and Countrywide would be sold, giving a free float of at least 25%. It will not issue new shares.
              
CEO Chesterman declined to forecast how much the share sale would raise but said he expected DMGT to remain the largest shareholder.

Chesterman also said that Zoopla plans to launch additional products and services after the share sale and to expand into other parts of the property market, such as commercial property, with overseas expansion a possibility in the future. 

"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," he said.
              
Zoopla, which launched in 2008, reported six-month revenue to March 31 of £38.3m and adjusted core earnings of £18.7m. 

DMGT, the publisher of Britain's Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday, which owns 52.6% of Zoopla, announced the market listing as it posted half-year operating profit up 21% on an underlying basis, helped by price rises for its newspaper and tight cost control.
              
The group said today that its forecasts remained unchanged for the year.