Octopus Investments, the venture capital firm that backed the start-up of Zoopla in 2009, has sold its last stake in what is now ZPG plc, it has been revealed.
Its Octopus Titan VCT, which claims to be the largest venture capital trust in the UK, invested in Zoopla via its Zenith investment vehicle from 2013 onwards in preparation for a flotation on the London Stock Exchange. This took place in June 2014, valuing ZPG at £919 million.
Since then Octopus Titan has been slowly selling its remaining interests in ZPG as the portal’s share price has peaked and troughed, particularly over the past 18 months. During this period the ZPG share price has risen from £2.10p to £3.83p a share, an increase of 82%.
Octopus Investments said that it has now realised its last remaining investment in ZPG after a more recent surge in ZPG’s share price following the announcement that it has bought Hometrack for £120 million.
“The board is delighted that it has been part of Zoopla’s success story and that shareholders have benefitted investment in the first billion dollar business to have been backed by a venture capital trust,” says a statement from Octopus Titan.
The biggest major holder of shares in Zoopla now is DMG Media, the digital arm of DMGT, owner of the Daily Mail, which merged its portals PrimeLocation and Findaproperty into the ZPG in return for a 31% holding in the group, now worth over half a billion.
Alex Chesterman’s personal stake in the company is currently worth approximately £49 million while two agent groups still hold substantial shares in ZPG – Connells and Countrywide.