Property: Online search firm Zoopla to float 25% stake

Zoopla is planning to float a 25% stake on the London stock market.

Zoopla is planning to float a 25% stake on the London stock market. - Credit: PA

Online property search firm Zoopla today confirmed its intention to join the stock market.

The company, which includes the Primelocation, SmartNewHomes and HomesOverseas brands, will raise no new money, with the offer of around 25% of its shares representing an opportunity for founder Alex Chesterman and majority owner Daily Mail & General Trust to realise some of their stakes.

However, DMGT, which currently owns around 53% of Zoopla, is expected to remain the largest single shareholder following the flotation, which is expected to value the company at around £1billion and therefore result in the return of about £250million to investors.

Mr Chesterman, who could net around £100m, said: “More and more consumers rely on our websites and mobile apps to both search for properties and research the market. We remain focused on building a sustainable and profitable business.”

Zoopla, whose technology also powers Archant’s www.homes24.co.uk website, reported revenues of £64.5m and earnings of £29.4m for the year to September 30, 2013.

And earlier this month it reported record levels of traffic across its sites for the first half of the current year as the property market continued to improve, helping interim profits rise by 26% to £18.7m and revenues by a similar margin to £38.3m.

There has been widespread speculation that Zoopla could be the next property company to float, following the recent upswing on the housing market and last year’s successful listing of estate agency Foxtons.