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CMA clears ZPG acquisition of Expert Agent

Watchdog concludes market is well-served by property software companies despite ZPG now owning two of them.

Nigel Lewis

The sale of Expert Agent to ZPG has been cleared by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) following a three-month investigation into the deal, which it called in at the end of March.

ZPG had bought the company earlier that month but the deal was almost immediately called in for review by the CMA via an enforcement order under section 72(2) of the Enterprise Act 2002, after which shares in ZPG dropped.

Mike Griffiths imageExpert Agent was acquired by ZPG from a venture capital firm called Metropolis, which in turn bought the firm from founder Mike Griffiths (pictured, left)in 2004. He continues to work at the company.

ZPG says that now that the transaction has been given a green light by the CMA, it will now proceed with its integration plans for the business, although it will “continue to operate Expert Agent as a standalone brand and platform”.

Mark Goddard

“We are delighted but not surprised by the outcome of this review by the CMA,” says Mike Goddard, Managing Director of ZPG’s property division (pictured, right)

“We always felt that the UK property software sector is well-served by numerous players who offer strong, effective competition and are pleased that the CMA has come to the same conclusion.

“With this matter now concluded, we will be progressing our plans to integrate Expert Agent into the wider ZPG business and to deliver the related benefits for our partners.”

The temporary halting of the Expert Agent acquisition has been the only recent hiccup for ZPG, which otherwise has been buying up as many ‘verticals’ as its can – meaning companies who offers services to estate agents or consumers.

This has included uSwitch, Hometrack and the Property Software Group, a competitor of Expert Agent’s.

 

June 29, 2017

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