Woodford ups stake in Purplebricks to 25%

Top City fund manager Neil Woodford’s firm Woodford Investment Management has raised its stake in Purplebricks to more than 25% following a £10m share sale.

People close to Purplebricks told Sky News the company was continuing to consider the potential for a stock market listing, although such a move is unlikely in the very short-term.

Purplebricks is one of the UK’s fastest-growing online estate agents, and along with rivals is mounting an aggressive assault on established high street rivals.

Woodford’s latest investment is the second he has made in Purplebricks, which charges vendors a flat fee of £599.

When Woodford made his original investment he said : “[Purplebricks has] the vision, the technology and an experienced management team. With the funding at its disposal, I see a significant opportunity for the business to lead the market in changing the way we buy and sell houses.

“Given that the vast majority of property searches take place on the Internet, a business that provides a ‘virtual’ offering without expensive high street offices can significantly undercut the current market.”

Rival online agency, easyProperty, is also expected to float at some point in the next 12 months, as well as expanding its current lettings operation into sales.

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