Zoopla hires bankers to draw up options for sale

 
Michael Bow
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PROPERTY search website Zoopla yesterday said it had hired investment bankers from Credit Suisse as it eyes a float or potential sale of the business.

The company, which is controlled by Daily Mail General Trust, is understood to have commissioned the bank to draw up a list of proposals to determine the future of the five-year old online web portal.

A float, which could generate between £1bn and £1.3bn, is on the table, as is a trade sale.

Holding on to the business and growing it organically is also an option.

“We work with various advisers and have recently engaged Credit Suisse to help us explore further strategic opportunities as we continue to grow,” the company said in a statement.

The online business, which allows homebuyers and renters to seek out to new properties, was founded in 2007 by chairman and chief executive Alex Chesterman.

He retains a nine per cent stake in the company. DMGT owns a 50.1 per cent controlling stake.

Zoopla is one of the fastest growing companies in the country after it posted a 94 per cent increase in turnover for the nine months ending September 2012.

Last week it cemented its ambitious expansion by buying a portfolio of property websites from Trinity Mirror for £3.3m.

Its main rival, Rightmove, is more profitable than Zoopla due to its higher margins.