EYE NEWSFLASH: Purplebricks considers putting itself up for sale following more poor trading figures

Further signs of the precarious state of Purplebricks emerged this morning after the firm warned of serious issues facing its future and said it was exploring putting itself up for sale.

The struggling online estate agency has just provided an update on trading in respect of the financial year ending 30 April 2023 (“FY23”), and announced the commencement of a strategic review, and that means evaluating options including whether Purplebricks and shareholders would benefit from a different ownership structure.

Purplebricks insists that whilst it is now now in an ‘offer period’ no offer has been made and they are not in talks with any potential offeror.

The company says that the reduction in FY23 expectations is a result of widely speculated market share losses in Q3 (Nov – Jan); these have been caused by disruption from plan implementation to achieve the necessary cost savings (now £21m) and process changes.

Purplebricks adds that very limited additional information that can be provided as the firm has now come under the remit of the Takeover Code.

Purplebricks states: “As a consequence of this announcement, an ‘offer period’ has now commenced in respect of the Company in accordance with the rules of the Code and the attention of shareholders is drawn to the disclosure requirements of Rule 8 of the Code, which are summarised below. The Company is not in talks with any potential offeror and is not in receipt of any approach with regard to a possible offer.”

PB Trading Update

Since the Group published its Interim Results on 8 December 2022, implementation of its turnaround plan has continued at pace. A key component of the turnaround plan in Q3 FY23 was the implementation of Purplebricks’ revised go-to-market strategy, which aims to focus resource and investment into the regions which are currently profitable and those where there remains the largest opportunities for market share growth. Implementation has taken place but it has involved more disruption to the sales field than originally envisaged in order to achieve the required cost savings and efficiency improvements. This process has resulted in approximately £1.2m of one-off exceptional costs being incurred in H2 FY23 to date. As a result of this disruption, the instruction numbers achieved in Q3 FY23 were lower than the Board’s previous expectations.

In response to the lower instruction levels, the Board has proactively identified £4m of further annualised cost savings in addition to those communicated at the time of the Interim Results. These additional savings will be achieved by streamlining the lettings business and more conservative investment in the ramp up of the mortgages business. The restructured sales field operation is now benefitting from the leadership of the Group’s new Chief Sales and Marketing Officers, who both joined in January 2023. Purplebricks also implemented a fee increase on 1 February which will increase ARPI going forward.

Notwithstanding the positive operational changes made for the long term health of the business, the impact of lower instruction levels during Q3 FY23 has resulted in the Board revising its expectations for full year performance.

The Group now expects to deliver revenue for FY23 of between £60 million and £65 million, and an adjusted EBITDA loss of between £15 million and £20 million.

As a result of its turnaround plan, the Group continues to expect positive cash generation in early FY24.

PB Strategic Review

The Board believes that Purplebricks’ business and brand has significant value. The Purplebricks brand benefits from over a decade building best in class brand recognition within the UK estate agency market. The Group, through its turnaround plan, is positioning itself well for the future, having laid the foundations to invest in existing and new revenue streams, such as lettings and financial services, and thereby generate material long term profitability and cash flow.

Helena Marston

The Board recognise that the potential of the Group may be better realised under an alternative ownership structure, and has, therefore, decided to conduct a strategic review of the Group’s business (the “Strategic Review”) with the aim of delivering maximum value for shareholders. The Group has appointed Zeus as its Financial Adviser to assist with the Strategic Review. The outcome of the Strategic Review may or may not result in a sale of the Company or some or all of the Group’s business and assets.

As a consequence of this announcement, an ‘offer period’ has now commenced in respect of the Company in accordance with the rules of the Code and the attention of shareholders is drawn to the disclosure requirements of Rule 8 of the Code, which are summarised below. The Company is not in talks with any potential offeror and is not in receipt of any approach with regard to a possible offer.

Helena Marston, CEO, said: “We have undertaken a huge amount of work in the last 9 months to improve our sales business, raise standards, establish Purplebricks Financial Services, and stabilise lettings, all of which means the Company has never been in better shape for the future.  Yes, the actions we have taken have caused more short-term disruption to our Q3 performance than anticipated, but we remain confident in returning to positive cash generation in early FY24.  We recognise that our upside potential is not currently reflected in our market valuation, which is why the entire Board has therefore concluded that a strategic review is now in the best interests of all shareholders.”



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  1. Rob Hailstone

    Form an orderly queue please.

    1. Mark

      Return of the Bruces?

      They have a lot of free time on their hands.

      Maybe Purplebricks will be Boomin

  2. Ohmygod

    I will start the bidding.

    2 x packets of chocolate buttons

    1. MrGilbert

      Mark it up as SSTC then for the price of 2 packets of chocolate buttons. Bidding was fierce but the fact you offered 2 packets swung it your way (vendor was only expecting 1 packet).

    2. AgentBen

      Said buttons must have been partially melted in the pocket.

  3. JWVW

    And the band played on….

  4. 0racle

    I want to make an offer so I have telephoned the local property expert and am awaiting a call back….


  5. AtomicPea

    Its a tricky one. I’m not sure whether to take a punt on this or respond to the email I received last week about my long lost relative Hugo Batwang whom passed away in Nigeria leaving me millions.

  6. htsnom79

    Competitive bidding, I’ll raise you:

    3 marbles, a conker and a button!

    1. Watters71

      I raise you:

      4 marbles, a conker, a giant chocolate button, use of the swivel chair at weekends (Thats one for the slightly older not members) and a free referral with Premier Property Lawyers on your next house move.

  7. Scott Gunn

    I offer my services to PB as their selling agent.

    My fee is £1,349 inc VAT upfront with no guarantee of success

  8. Mr Carnegie

    “The Board believes that Purplebricks’ business and brand has significant value”

    Sadly, the article doesn’t confirm whether they also believe in Father Christmas, the Tooth Fairy, and Robin Hood, but one can only presume they do.

  9. Harry Hill

    What will now be most interesting is to see whether the German major shareholder, which a few months ago backed the current Chairman and (by association) management will come to the table with an offer of any sort-as the possibility of any other trade buyer emerging is, in my opinion, remote. In the meantime cash reserves continues to be eroded with further losses and “one-off” payments. Share price off 10%+ already this morning suggests that the City don’t expect to see much good happening. Good luck Zeus with your strategic review!

  10. conoco9

    Do you think they will still have to pay the company handling the sale after 10 months if nobody buys it?

  11. skipdale

    Keep these comments coming, the first few this morning had me laughing out loud to myself. I just wish the founders were still involved.

    1. LongInTheTooth75

      Im sure they could pitch in with part of their “Brucie Bonus”

  12. Robert_May

    Don’t be too quick to be clever with  the comments; they have some very useful tech and  by my estimation the non-geographic deal for portal listings is worth more than their market cap.

    Being ” ” proper ” ” estate agents in their current form is unlikely to happen but the assets there are well worth considering and put to good use


    1. htsnom79

      Are they though Robert? really?

      I’ve yet to meet a ” bit of tech ” that knows what it’s doing, this is a people business.

      That said, I wonder if Chatgpt could be on the other end of live chat ( stroking beard emoji )

      1. Robert_May

        I have worked both sides of the fence; agent and service supplier to the industry – I know  and have demonstrated I know tech that will be adopted by the industry and stuff that will fail. The reason I’m considered outspoken is because I call it as I see it which often contradicts the trend and the group-think that goes with the trend.


        I tweeted a good while back now that the value of the tech and the rates they have with the portals exceeds their current market capitalisation. What is currently less than  9p has a realistic value of 30p. The problem they have is not the model or the reputation they have,  Axel Springer surprisingly doesn’t  seem to understand the value of they assets the have or how they could generate a profit and a return on their investment from those assets


        Once again there is a disjoint between the money people and domain knowledge.

  13. Hotwells84

    Someone must have brewed a pot of coffee yesterday morning. Imagine the scene. Those that are left introduce themselves to each other whilst sat around a big purple table. We are losing 20 million a year. Our market capital is not much more than that and less and less customers want to use our product as its fundamentally flawed. What can we do?  Much head scratching takes place. Someone suggests putting up prices by 50% to bring them in line with the traditional high street agents who have evolved his model over decades and run viable businesses. They conveniently forget the pay up front bit…. Next they look at the ray of light that is mortgage business. I know we can forget about making money selling houses and just chase the financial service bit… Just like Countrywide…. Ah. Sole… destroying idea… With the smell of the coffee slipping away and the last 50p in the meter running out fast someone pulls out a for sale sign… Good luck getting an offer it will be next Thursday before you can get a viewing….

  14. WiltsAgent

    No sign of those sophisticated investors we used to hear so much about stepping in. Look out for some chancers preaching utopian nonsense picking it up and promising a revolution in estate agency.

  15. KByfield04

    If their EBITDA is losses of £15-20m then real losses will be substantially higher- wouldn’t be surprised to see this figure double. This will push losses past £150m. Any purchase will surely require these losses to be written off. Anyway you look at it- ouch! But a savvy purchase on the right terms to a large agency could totally make sense. Removal from public trading will also reduce the focus on financials.

  16. Russell121

    I wonder if you have to use their preferred solicitor.

  17. Leicestercitystar

    The facts are the executive leadership team at PB blame everyone but themselves.

    The decisions they make are absolutely bizarre. How obnoxious do you have to be to ignore experienced estate agents advice and make decisions that you are warned against and then they fail.

    PB had some brilliant estate agents working in the company that I’ve all left in droves because that ELT team keep making absurd decisions, one after the other after the other.

    Most of the ELT team should resign but watch this space as they blame others!!

  18. RAL

    On The Market should buy it and turn it in to a portal ….. at least the public recognise the name…

  19. Howard Star

    there wil be some other schmuck who will take it on and some of the gravy train people out there will no doubt have 12 months employment before leaping off with shares/pay offs, by the way, where does that train stop?

    1. Robert_May

      If I were a betting man I don’t think that will be the case- as I said above there is good value in what’s there, with a fair wind at least 10x the current value.

      It won’t be a fool who takes it on, it will be someone who can see the potential and can make it happen

  20. Quags

    Funny how all the PB fans on here are remarkably quiet recently.

  21. paternalpole

    There is no sign of the sophisticated investors that we heard so much about. Watch out for those who preach utopian nonsense and promise a revolution to the estate agency. https://redactleunlimited.com


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