OnTheMarket (OTM) has revealed that it is to begin using its war chest of 36.3 million unallocated shares to persuade agents to sign long-term deals with the portal.
This, it has been suggested, could help add another 5,000 branches to its current tally of 8,500.
Buried in the detail of its final results published today, OTM’s CEO Ian Springett (pictured, below) says the portal is planning to switch strategy from offering agents free listings on short-term deals to giving them long-term agreements via ‘equity incentivisation’, to use City jargon.
The new shares were announced when OTM was admitted to the Alternative Investment Market in February this year, but Springett says almost all of these shares remain ‘unallocated’.
“A key part of the Group’s growth strategy involves the rapid building of its agency branch base,” he says.
Zeus Capital – which is OTM’s broker and financial adviser in the City – has today suggested that, if the portal can increase its market share from 44% to 60% over the next three years, then OTM’s share price has the potential to almost double to £3.30.
The city firm has been involved in several other property and financial flotations including Purplebricks, SimplyBiz and the Mortgage Advice Bureau.
“Ongoing agent support for OnTheMarket.com remains a key pillar of our strategy,” says Springett.
“As well as voting overwhelmingly in support of the new strategy, including dropping the One Other Portal rule for new contracts, relaxing rules restricting the Group’s target markets and converting the loan note holdings into equity on Admission, we are delighted to have had the majority of the members commit to entering new five year listing agreements and lock-in arrangements to retain the majority of their shares for five years.”