It’s pay day! Bruce brothers cash in over £17m from Purplebricks share sales

Michael Bruce, boss of Purplebricks, this morning cashed in some 3.6m shares in the company.

The shares were held by his wife Isabel. CEO Bruce will still hold an interest in 37.7m shares, or a 14% stake in the business.

The result of the book build of altogether some 7.9m shares was announced this morning, and at £3 per share the Bruce couple pocket £10.9m.

Michael Bruce’s brother Kenny, co-founder of the business, picks up nearly £6.5m from the sale of 2.1m shares.

The announcement of share sales by directors and senior managers was made to the stock exchange after the close of trading yesterday.

Chief financial officer Neil Cartwright and independent non-executive director William Whitehorn are also selling – 1m and 250,000 shares respectively.

Also selling shares are five non-main board directors, but described as ‘persons discharging managerial responsibilities’ at Purplebricks.

Kenny Bruce, in charge of sales, has sold just over 2m shares, bringing him in around £6.4m.

The others who have sold smaller amounts of shares are finance director Matthew Farrow; marketing director James Kydd; chief information officer David Shepherd; and chief technology officer David Kavanagh.

In a lock-out, none of the sellers “and their connected persons” will be able to sell more shares for six months.

In total, up to 7.9m shares in Purplebricks have been sold, equal to 2.9% of the company.

It was also announced to the stock market yesterday that Woodford Investment Management, which had held 28% of the shares in Purplebricks, now holds a 26.5% stake following the admission of new shares on Monday this week, and the consequent dilution if Woodford had not fully taken part in that placing.

Yesterday, shares in Purplebricks closed at 303.75p.

The company has only just raised £50m for its American operation at 220p, so this latest successful share placing at 300p provides an indication of the appetite by institutions for further investment.

At £3 per share, the business has a market capitalisation of £750m.

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  1. GarethWagner69

    If anyone was left in any doubt about whether the Bruce brothers believe their business model has a long term future this news should clear it up for them.

    1. MattBesier41

      Rubbish! This is standard procedure for making money when you have shares. It doesnt necessarily mean that they don’t believe in its future. If they cashed in on ALL their shares, then I might agree with you. 

    2. Bless You

      nope def a sell out at the top, unless they are going to roll out their amazing loss making business to china next… Tbf, they are now fully exposed to english speaking countries… Bruces 3million, the city 0.

  2. sb007ck

    My first impression was also that they are cashing in a bit ahead of the announcement of their yearly earnings/losses etc shortly. Maybe the lot of them are worried about the share price should they not be able to prove that ‘bricks are raking in the money

  3. IndAgent

    Congratulations to them I say! Take the money and run. Life is for living!

    1. Bless You

      if you like the city getting tickled then fairplay..if you thought business was about honest hard work…youve been tickled.

  4. 40yearvetran08

    Take the money and run! Anything more they may get in another 6 months will be a bonus. What a way to make money, beats selling houses for a living which is just as well!!! The return they have made must have exceeded their expectations, I take my hat off to you for managing the meteoric rise in the share price on the back of nothing to show for it. If you pinch someone’s deposit you go to prison for 19 months, quite right, create an illusion and get people to part with cash for the hope of some gain in years to come you become a multi millionaire. Buyer beware is all I can say, not that I can say that anymore to my buyers!!

    1. Chris Wood

      I would comment however, as Purplebricks’ lawyers intervene on seemingly any negative press coverage from broadsheet to individual, I will refrain as I do not wish to cause any further problems for PIE. 

      1. Frown Please

        That is not the Chris we know! Maybe should change back to Chri.

        1. Chris Wood

          The same Chri, Frown, have no fear. However, Whilst I happily gave a legal two fingers to PBs’ bully girl at Schillings, PIE are a little more cautious/ sensible (delete as applicable) and have very politely asked me to refrain on here. 

  5. AgentV

    When the share price has almost tripled since the start of December I guess now makes great sense as the time to sell. With that amount of money in the bank you’ll never have to work again!

  6. J1

    Congratulations Mr and Mr Bruce

    two fingers to your doubters

    1. AgencyInsider

      Don’t you mean ‘Two fingers to your investors’ ?

      1. J1

        I guess it’s the way of the world these days

        Jealousy will no doubt be aired on PIE today, and for all time, but you have to say well done sometimes even when you are the loser…. 

      2. Bless You

        most investers have made alot of money from   pb . Its calling the top that is important.

  7. inthefield

    Much as I cant stand how they have gone about this and how they continue to pull the wool over the eyes of the public, I would be very happy with myself this morning if Id bagged all that cash. Spending the eye watering amounts of other peoples money to get there and still having not made a penny since formation in 2014 is an incredible feat.

    1. Chris Wood

      It all rather depends how they came by those other peoples money. If achieved honestly and with hard work, then they have every right to take their dues.

  8. DayBook93

    Good luck to you guys. Making the kind of money that most agents dream of but normally only achieve by selling out their buisness to the very brands they have competed with over the years. Doesn’t look like they are selling out, just benefitting from the opportunity of changing their family’s lives for ever.

  9. AgentV

    I deeply hope that in a parallel universe somewhere, the other me is making a lot more money than I do, coming up with innovative ways of helping his vendors achieve their best possible sale price and following these sales through thoroughly to completion…..on a ‘no sale no fee basis’.

  10. Hillofwad71

    No great fan but you cant blame them for putting some hay in the barn They are still clutching a healthy bag of antepost vouchers

    It wasnt as if  they were unleashed on an unsuspecting market but carefully placed  at a very small discount  to institutional buyers where there was plenty of demand for them No bad thing  to get some heavyweight institutions on baord   Whether their investment proves to be wise is another matter probably seeing their share certificates  cascading down over Ellis Island or chewed by great whites on Bondi beach

  11. Property Paddy

    got to love mumsnet review of purple bricks



    1. Pokemum06

      Blimey you’re sharp lad, picking up on a review from October 2015.
      It’s been downhill for them since … oh wait …

      1. Property Paddy

        yes I thought I would search purplebricks reviews just to see if there were any completely independant reviews. Still comes up pretty high on google. maybe someone should pay the adword for search result !!!

  12. RealAgent

    One does begrudgingly have to admire anyone that can pull in a pay day like this one……much as I did when I heard the story about the Hatton Garden Depository raid.

  13. 40yearvetran08

    £24m raised by the sale of shares and the share price hardly moved, yet!

  14. MattGiggs19

    They certainly deserve their choice to cash in. Fair play – they have scaled their model.


    In my opinion, smart ‘new school’ agents will thank the online agents for shaking things up within the next 2-3 years. Most of them are hiring cash trying to make it work.

    The ‘new school’ guys will get their enterprises growing by simply focusing with skill on what a client wants or needs; way ahead of what the options for sellers are today

    Lets be honest, you don’t need to be a great estate agent to explain the simple fact that they are paid to list the house, not sell it, or even drive up the sellers value (which is the agents job still?)


    whats all all the fuss?


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