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Brit online property bazaar Zoopla ponders BILLION-pound flotation

Could net founder Alex Chesterman £100m, allow him to buy SEVERAL houses in London

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British online property portal Zoopla is reportedly considering a stock market listing that could value it at £1.3bn.

The UK's second-biggest property search website by page views is looking for new ways to compete with its main rival, Rightmove, and has appointed investment bank Credit Suisse to help it assess its strategy.

"As one of the the fastest growing online businesses in the UK, our focus is on continuing to develop our brands and business in a sustainable way as demonstrated by ours latest acquisition this week of SmartNewHomes.co.uk, the UK's leading new homes portal," a spokesperson told The Register in an emailed statement. "We work with various advisers and have recently engaged Credit Suisse to help us explore further strategic opportunities as we continue to grow."

Going public could value Zoopla at up to £1.3bn, or 50 times this year's earnings before interest, tax, amortisation and depreciation, according to a report (paywalled) in The Sunday Times. If it manages to bag that kind of cash from investors, founder Alex Chesterman stands to get a windfall of around £100m.

Despite the economic downturn's pressure on the property market in Blighty, Zoopla appears to be doing well. Last week it acquired SmartNewHomes.co.uk, along with three other property portals from newspaper group Trinity Mirror. It also launched a new multimillion pound TV advertising campaign.

Rival portal Rightmove still dominates the market, ranking as the sixth most visited website in the whole of Britain – even ahead of the BBC News site, according to a list published by Experian Hitwise in January. ®

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