BY Fraser Tennant
In a move that is expected to give a massive boost to the PropTech sector, US private equity (PE) firm Silver Lake is to acquire ZPG, parent company of Zoopla, one of the UK’s largest internet property search companies.
The deal will see the PE giant pay £2.2bn for ZPG, a leading residential property data and software provider with a range of products, including, in addition to Zoopla, the PrimeLocation, uSwitch and SmartNewHomes websites.
Since its initial public offering in 2014, ZPG has evolved and diversified and made significant progress toward becoming the platform of choice for consumers and partners engaged in property and household decisions. Founded in 2007, ZPG's websites and apps attract over 50 million visits per month and over 25,000 business partners use its services.
“ZPG is a great growth technology company,” said Simon Patterson, managing director of Silver Lake. “It has established strong positions in property classifieds, home and financial services markets by innovating in product and marketing. We are delighted to partner with Alex Chesterman, one of Europe’s leading and most accomplished technology entrepreneurs, to invest in ZPG’s continued growth.”
Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Silicon Valley, Silver Lake is the global leader in technology investing, with an estimated $39bn in combined assets under management and committed capital.
“I am firmly of the belief that ZPG will benefit from Silver Lake’s technology expertise and global network, which will help accelerate our growth,” said Alex Chesterman, founder and chief executive of ZPG. “The terms of the acquisition represent an attractive premium that recognises the quality of ZPG’s businesses and the strength of its future prospects and allows shareholders to realise today in cash the potential future value of their holdings.”
The acquisition is subject to conditions, including receipt of merger control approval from the European Commission and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and is expected to be completed during the third quarter of 2018.
Mr Chesterman concluded: “I am very excited about the opportunity this deal offers to our employees, customers and partners as we move to the next stage of ZPG’s development and growth.”