Zoopla parent company ZPG has sold the Australian arm of its property data subsidiary Hometrack for £71 million to the Melbourne-based portal giant REA Group.
In Australia Hometrack is one of the largest providers of both Average Valuation Model (AVM) data to lenders and property analytics to estate agents after being established there in 2007, eight years after it was started up in the UK.
ZPG bought Hometrack in January last year for £120 million off its founder Giles MacKay, who at the time owned three quarters of the company’s shares and who made £80m from the deal.
“ZPG acquired Hometrack Australia as part of our acquisition of the wider Hometrack business in the UK last year and we have always been clear that our core markets are the UK and Europe,” says Alex Chesterman, CEO of ZPG (pictured).
“We believe that REA Group, as a local operator, would be a more natural owner of the Hometrack Australia business.”
REA and Chesterman have plenty of history together which stretches back to the early noughties.
Zoopla’s cracking of the ‘No.2’ portal position in the UK is down to its purchase of PropertyFinder.com from its then joint owners REA Group and News International in 2009 for an estimated £1.5 million, giving Zoopla two million portal visitors a month overnight.
The purchase followed attempts by PropertyFinder’s then CEO, Gillian Kent to engineer a management buyout of the website, which REA had spent tens of millions acquiring and operating.
ZPG’s sale to the REA Group is subject to approval from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.