Daily Mail and General Trust is to planning to merge the online property firms FindaProperty.com and Primelocation.com with property startup Zoopla. The move will provide a powerful competitor to Rightmove, which leads the Uk online property market. Under the proposed merger, A&N Media (the consumer arm of DMGT) will retain a 55% interest in the newly merged entity.
In 2009 Zoopla closed a £3.75 million round of funding from venture capital firms Atlas Venture and Octopus Ventures taking its total raised to £5.5m.
In a statement Martin Morgan, Chief Executive of DMGT said: “This merger will create a genuine opportunity to challenge the dominant market leader in the online property sector. We believe that the combination of our respective digital property assets will benefit both consumers and clients.”
Launched in 2008 less than a year ago Zoopla has become one top most-visited property websites in the UK according to Nielsen.
DMGT said in a statement: “In a market that has had a single dominant player in Rightmove for many years, this will create a viable and effective alternative for estate agents and housebuilders across the UK.
“For consumers, the combination will provide significantly greater coverage of property listings and enhanced features to help make better-informed decisions in the UK residential property market.”
The deal is subject to approval by the Office of Fair Trading.