Zoopla confirms Propertyfinder acquisition after MBO fails

UK real estate startup Zoopla has confirmed our recent story by officially announcing the acquisition of the the PropertyFinder Group, which was put up for sale recently by joint owners REA Group and News International. Terms were undisclosed but we believe it was for £1.5m.

Under the deal, Zoopla.co.uk will take over and integrate the propertyfinder.com and other websites, benefiting from an additional 3 million unique visitors a month and revenues of almost £7 million a year. The combined group will power property partnerships with UK websites including MSN, Yahoo!, AOL, Guardian, Tiscali, Sky and Virgin amongst others. This latest deal by Zoopla.co.uk comes hot on the heels of its acquisition a couple of weeks ago of ThinkProperty.com from Guardian Media Group. Atlas Venture, backer of Zoopla.co.uk, confirmed it approved of the deal.

In 2005 News Corp and Australian property group REA bought Propertyfinder for £14 million. It was later joined by UKPropertyShop and HotProperty.co.uk for £5.6 million. REA alone has now written off around AUS$61 million.

Zoopla has been playing a canny hand, using user-generated data to provide accurate house price estimates and building a lot of data-driven services. It took a Series B funding round at the beginning of this year from Atlas Venture and Octopus Ventures.

Propertyfinder‘s CEO – Gillian Kent, the former MSN UK head who joined in January ‘08 – had previously been leading an attempt at a management buy-out from joint owners News International and REA Group, but this deal foundered.