ZPG has confirmed it has made an offer to buy insurance, mortgages and loans comparison site GoCompare.com but, after the deal was leaked yesterday, is now “considering its position”.
Both ZPG, the parent company of Zoopla and PrimeLocation, and GoCompare have confirmed that ZPG made an unsolicited offer to buy the comparison website at £1.10 a share to be paid for in ZPG shares, valuing it at £460m.
“This was unanimously and unequivocally rejected by the Board which believed that it fundamentally undervalued the business and its prospects,” a GoCompare statement says.
“Since May, [we have] delivered H1-2017 results which were ahead of expectations.”
GoCompare also says the offer, which was made last waeek, represented a discount on the value of the company based on its 11 October 2017 share price of £110.5p, although the offer was considerably higher than its later share price of 0.95p on 7th November.
“ZPG’s Proposal is highly opportunistic and fundamentally undervalues the Company and its prospects,” says the comparison website’s Chairman Sir Peter Wood (pictured, below).
GoCompare only recently demerged from motor and home insurance specialist Esure after which, in November 2016, its share price stood at 74.5p valuing the company at £310m.
The attempted acquisition by ZPG follows its recent purchase of money.co.uk, another comparison website similar to GoCompare.
But any purchase of – or merger with – GoCompare would most likely to be referred to the Competition and Mergers Authority (CMA) as ZPG already also already owns another comparison website, uSwitch.
ZPG has a habit of buying rivals – earlier this year its purchase of software firm ExpertAgent was referred to the CMA because ZPG already owned another agent software provider, Property Software Group. That deal was approved in June.
ZPG has also revealed that it has signed up South of England, 15-branch agency Henry Adams to its portals. The agency is based in Chichester but has branches in other parts of West Sussex as well as in Surrey and Hampshire. It also lists on OnTheMarket and Rightmove.
“We wish to gain maximum exposure for our properties and apart from the quality of the ZPG websites, we were also attracted back by their comprehensive range of products and services which complement our brand perfectly,” says Philip Jordan, Chief Executive of Henry Adams (pictured right).
“We are looking forward to working with the team to maximise value, for both our brand and our clients.”