Purplebricks Founder Michael Bruce Plots Bid To Regain Control Of Online Estate Agency

Michael Bruce

The founder of Purplebricks is reportedly preparing a move to regain control of the struggling online estate agency less than a fortnight after the company put itself up for sale.

Sky News reports that Michael Bruce is considering making an offer for Purplebricks, and is lining up prospective advisers to work with him.

The emergence of Bruce’s interest comes nearly four years after he quit as the company’s chief executive, and follows an announcement by Purplebricks yesterday that the firm has entered a formal sale process following takeover offers.

The online estate agency said yesterday that it had received interest from third parties, and that now appears to include Bruce, who founded the business, with his brother, Kenny, just over a decade ago.

Purplebricks has seen its valuation fall sharply over the past year, and currently has a market value of just £23m.

Bruce is believed to be looking for a new project, following the failure of his property portal Boomin, after liquidators were called in last year.

One property industry source told Sky News that there was even a possibility that Bruce could combine the Boomin technology with that of Purplebricks.

The company has been hampered by the downturn in the property market in recent months, driven by the sharp rise in mortgage rates deterring purchasers and vendors.

Purplebricks said full-year adjusted underlying loss would come in between £15m and £20m – larger than the previously expected loss of between £8.8m and £11.3m.

Regulatory failings have also had an adverse impact on the company, contributing to the fall. Shares in the AIM-listed firm have fallen from 103p at the start of January 2021, while the company floated at 95p in December 2015.

Shares in the online estate agent have plummeted since its all-time high in 2017 of 525p.

The firm’s share price closed yesterday at 8.38p

EYE NEWSFLASH: Purplebricks enters formal sale process following takeover offers

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