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Zoopla acquires uSwitch


Travers Smith LLP has advised new client Zoopla, the UK's most comprehensive property search website, on the acquisition of price comparison website uSwitch from LDC and certain management sellers for up to £190m.

Founded in 2007, Zoopla Property Group Plc owns and operates some of the UK's leading online property brands including Zoopla, Primelocation, SmartNewHomes and HomesOverseas. Since its launch it has become the UK’s leading online destination for property consumers to search for homes and is one of the fastest growing websites in the UK. Over 16,000 property professionals advertise on the group’s websites and mobile apps, which attract over 40 million visits per month.

Zoopla’s combination with uSwitch will bring together two complementary brands and create a one-stop shop for property buyers and a single platform where consumers can research, find and manage their homes. The combined Group will offer advertisers enhanced lead generation, more frequent user engagement and additional revenue opportunities from new products and data.

Zoopla will fund the deal through existing cash and a £150m five-year credit facility.

Travers Smith’s team, which acted for Zoopla on this transaction, was led by corporate finance partner Andrew Gillen, who was supported by associates Mark Storrie and David Wiltshire. Banking advice was provided by finance partner Matt Ayre and associate Jamie Parish.

CMS Cameron McKenna, led by James Grimwood, advised the sellers (Forward Internet Group). Freshfields, led by Mark Austin, advised Zoopla in relation to the class 1 circular. Hogan Lovells, led by Stuart Brinkworth, advised the lenders (HSBC Bank plc, Barclays Bank plc, The Royal Bank of Scotland plc and Lloyds Bank plc).

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