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What now for Purplebricks remaining lettings book?

Although Purplebricks’s Scottish lettings book was sold in a deal over the Bank Holiday weekend, there remains uncertainty over the rest of the company.

That includes its lettings book outside of Scotland too.

On Friday evening Purplebricks revealed that in addition to a highly publicised bid from rival online agency Strike, it had received an indicative proposal from activist investor and shareholder Lecram Holdings - one of Purplebricks’ biggest shareholders.


Lecram has a 5.0 per cent stake in the business and has been a stern critic of the agency’s leadership for some years.

It is offering a price of 0.5p per Purplebricks share in cash, rivalling Strike’s favoured bid of taking on the company’s assets and liabilities for £1.

A statement from Purplebricks over the weekend said the board did bot “currently consider” that the proposal reflects an improvement on the proposed sale of business and assets to Strike, “particularly as regards anticipated return to shareholders and certainty for the company's other stakeholders”. 

Lecram must now decide whether it will make a formal offer by 5pm on June 23; any  such offer would be subject to the satisfaction or waiver of a number of customary pre-conditions, including satisfactory completion of due diligence, the lapsing of the proposed sale of business and assets to Strike and finalising financing for the new deal.

Lecram said in a statement: “Lecram Holdings can confirm it has made an offer for entire share capital of Purplebricks.

“We believe that the Strike transaction agreed by the board of the company is not in the best interests of shareholders and could end up with them receiving nothing. 

“Lecram has been engaged with the board of Purplebricks for nearly a year in an attempt to avert the situation that has now occurred and we believe our offer gives shareholders the certainty of cash now rather than vague promises from a discredited board of something more somewhere down the line.”

The separate and smaller Lomond deal, finalised for an undisclosed sum, will see all the Purplebricks’ lettings properties in Scotland transferred to Lomond’s two principal Scottish brands - DJ Alexander, based in Edinburgh, Glasgow and St Andrews; and Stonehouse, which operates across Aberdeen.

Two-thirds of the former Purplebricks’ Scottish lettings book are located in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, with the remainder situated in Falkirk, Inverness, Kilmarnock, Kirkcaldy, Motherwell and Paisley.

  • Roger  Mellie

    Lettings is the bedrock of any agency, because when the sales market tanks, which it will, and it does, more often than we'd like to see, rentals and property management are there to keep the business rolling. This makes no sense to me.


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