Zoopla is splurging £120m on this property data company

 
Emma Haslett
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A woman speaks to two men at the bottom of a staircase in a Zoopla ad
It's Zoopla's second big acquisition in the past couple of months (Source: YouTube)

Online property giant Zoopla has unveiled plans to buy property data company Hometrack for £120m.

In a statement after the market closed today, Zoopla Property Group, which also owns the likes of USwitch and PrimeLocation, said the transaction will take place on a cash-free, debt-free basis.

Zoopla will pay £108m when the deal completes, and £6m on its first and second anniversaries.

Hometrack bills itself as the UK's leading provider of market insights and analytics for the residential property market, creating more than 20m automated valuations for homes in the UK and Australia, and working with 15 of the top 20 mortgage providers in the UK.

In the year to the end of June it generated revenues of £15.5m and adjusted earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation of £7.1m.

Zoopla said it will finance the deal through a £75m loan and an equity placing of up to five per cent of its share capital. Shares finished 0.5 per cent lower today, at 366.2p.

​Alex Chesterman, Zoopla's chief executive, said the deal will give the company "unrivalled data capabilities in the residential property market".

It's not the first acquisition Zoopla has made in recent months: having bought Property Software Holdings for £75m in April, in November it revealed it had bought estate agency web design company Technicweb, as well as ploughing cash into connected home insurance provider Neos.

Brexit means Brexit?

All this diversification has come as Zoopla reacted to the challenges ahead. Chief exec Chesterman was one of the names behind the legal challenge to Brexit - and in November said the government's handling of the process was "highly disappointing".

"A fair amount of time has now passed since this happened. [The vote] wasn't yesterday. And I think there are a lot of mixed messages coming out from both the UK government and the counterparties in Europe," he said.

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