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Zoopla pips MBO team to post in Propertyfinder bid

Zoopla is locked in discussions about the potential purchase of Propertyfinder after becoming the preferred bidder.

As The Negotiator reported on May 29, the management board of, including Nick Leeming, the portal’s major client director and Gillian Kent, its chief executive, was mulling an MBO following an announcement from its Australian parent company, REA Group, that it was reviewing its UK operations.

But a source close to discussions claims that the MBO bid has been sidelined in favour of a submission from Zoopla.

A spokesman for Zoopla says: “We can confirm that we are currently looking at a purchase of the PropertyFinder Group, but cannot comment further at this time and will have further detail on our plans in the coming weeks.”

REA Group announced on Friday that it had entered heads of agreement for the potential sale of all or part of its online business, which also includes and, and which it co-owns with News International.

Leeming says: “A preferred bidder has been identified, which is not the MBO team and I have no opinion, nor any views, on it.”

Zoopla’s bid follows its receipt of a £3.75m injection from venture capital firms Atlas Venture and Octopus Ventures in January, which increased its total funding to around £5.5m. This was a year after the portal was launched by Alex Chesterman (pictured).

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