17 October 2011

Quick analysis of Zoopla/DMGT merger

A few weeks ago, I opined Zoopla consider an IPO, given the combined success of both Zillow and Rightmove in the equity markets:
The Rightmove share price and profitability provide little doubt that there is potentially huge money and profitability to be made in this sector. The company to watch therefore is Rightmove's closest competitor Zoopla, which has cemented itself in the UK marketplace as the number two player after Rightmove, recently becoming a top 100 website in the UK. Most importantly, the company has successfully increased consumer brand awareness, mainly through the process of purchasing expensive TV advertising. The biggest challenge Zoopla faces is maintaining brand awareness and potentially increasing market credibility. If they can overcome these two challenges, no doubt there will at least be growing talk of a Zoopla IPO in the not too distant future.
Well, a Zoopla IPO is effectively what's happening, given that DMGT is public company trading since 1922, with a current market cap at £1,6B; and with that amount of cash available there should be more than enough money available to overcome Zoopla's main challenge of brand awareness in order to launch successful campaign to eventually beat Rightmove. That being said, however Rightmove also does have a lot of cash, and given that they've only being trading (as a PLC) for four years shows how strong the company the brand and the business really is, given that - at £1.3B - the value of the business is worth only 19% less than what DMGT is worth today, with all those trading years behind them!
With the combined visitor numbers for domains zoopla.co.uk, findaproperty.com and primelocation.com, there is just about enough traffic to beat Rightmove in visitor numbers; whether the combined numbers work in terms of profitability will be the real challenge to overcome for the newly formed company.

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