Purplebricks brothers Michael and Kenny Bruce have sold large chunks of their shares in the company, netting them an eye-watering £17 million in cash.
They joined a number of senior directors in cashing in hefty chunks of their ownership, including the hybrid agency’s Finance Director, Marketing Director and Chief Technology Officer.
Head honcho Michael Bruce cashed in the most selling 3.6 million shares, well, specifically his wife cashed in as the shares were held in Isabel Bruce’s name. As one of the founder’s of the disruptive agent, CEO Bruce made £11 million from the sale and still holds an interest in 37.7 million shares, which at the current market rate leaves him another £115 million in equity.
His brother Kenny also got in on the act, selling 2.1 million shares and netting himself a cool £6.4 million. In a co-ordinated sell-off, a number of Purplebricks senior team dumped their shares onto the market.
Who made the most money from the Purplebricks sell-off?
Michael Bruce, CEO – £11 million
Kenny Bruce, Sales Director – £6.4 million
Neil Cartwright, Chief Financial Officer – £3 million
Matthew Farrow, Finance Director – £1 million
David Shepherd, Chief Information Officer – £900,000
James Kydd, Director of Marketing – £420,000The ever controversial agency have experienced stunning growth, both in reported numbers and stock market prices. In December last year, Purplebricks said it had sold £2.6 billion of property in six months, compared with £2.8 billion in the entire of 2015.
The firms stock price has tripled since it’s launch on the AIM in December 2015 and it’s market cap (total number of shares multipled by the value of one share) is now estimated at a huge £750 million.
To put that into perspective, Foxtons market cap is estimated at £260 million and Countrywide’s market cap stands at £350 million, positioning Purplebricks as bigger than both established agencies combined in terms of current market price.
What can Michael Bruce buy with his £11 million payout?
DMZ thinks Purplebricks staggering rise from virtual unknowns to the largest estate agency in the UK is quite a feat.
As the ongoing online vs hybrid vs traditional estate agency debate continues to rumble on, it’s surprising that there has been little to no news of competitor hybrid agents climbing to the lofty level of Purplebricks.
Companies like eMoov, Tepilo, Housesimple, Settled, EasyProperty and a raft of other newly established online agents appear to be stunned by the sheer speed the Bruce family move at. DMZ speculates that these smaller players are hoping to be acquired by traditional agencies, like Connell’s acquisition of Hatched.co.uk or Savills investment in YOPA. We think the Bruce brothers could have around 17 million reasons that would encourage one emerging agency to make a play for the broader market, rather than settling with a smaller scale acquisition.