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Silver Lake agrees to buy property portal ZPG for £2.2b

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Silver Lake agreed to buy property platform ZPG Plc for almost £2.2 billion(S$3.98 billion) as the US private-equity investor seeks to grow further in UK real-estate.

 

[LONDON] Silver Lake agreed to buy property platform ZPG Plc for almost £2.2 billion(S$3.98 billion) as the US private-equity investor seeks to grow further in UK real-estate.

ZPG shareholders will receive 490 pence in cash per share, and Silver Lake already secured support for the bid from newspaper group Daily Mail & General Trust Plc, the property portal’s largest shareholder, the companies said in a statement Friday. In total, more than 30 per cent of ZPG shareholders have agreed to back the deal.

Private-equity investors are buying analytics firms seeking to monetize data flows. ZPG owns and operates a number of online property portals, including Zoopla, and a number of real-estate data firms. Founded in 2007, the group has steadily been buying up property and price-comparison platforms. In September, ZPG bought financial services website Money.co.uk for an initial £80 million, a few months after acquiring property data provider Hometrack for £120 million.

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Shares in ZPG jumped 30 per cent to 486.2 pence at 9.22 am in London, the biggest advance since the company listed in 2014. Despite the rocky UK housing market, the stock had risen 13 per cent this year before Friday’s bid. Daily Mail jumped 7.6 per cent to 765 pence.

US investor Silver Lake, with around US$40 billion of assets under management, has already been targeting UK property groups. In March, it announced a deal with Battery Ventures to buy EDR, a real estate software company, from DMGT for US$205 million.

Industry analysts have recently flagged UK real estate agents as targets for M&A activity, with traditional high-street players like Foxtons Group Plc and Countrywide Plc facing a stagnant housing market and a loss of market share to online competitors.

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