A £62m payday for the tech tycoon who revolutionised house buying

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Housing star: Zoopla chief executive Alex Chesterman 

Housing star: Zoopla chief executive Alex Chesterman 

Housing star: Zoopla chief executive Alex Chesterman 

ZOOPLA’S founder looks set to scoop nearly £62million after Silicon Valley investors agreed to buy the firm for £2.2billion.

The property website’s chief executive Alex Chesterman, who set up the company in 2007, has more than 12.5m shares and options in its parent group ZPG. 

They are worth £61.5million under the terms of the 490p-a-share bid for ZPG by Silver Lake, a leading American technology investment firm based in Menlo Park, California.

The proposed deal also values the ZPG stock held by DMGT, the owner of the Daily Mail, at more than £640million.

DMGT is ZPG’s biggest shareholder with a stake of 29.8 per cent and has backed the takeover by Silver Lake.

A successful takeover of ZPG by Silver Lake would take DMGT’s returns from its investment to £890million – more than 14 times what it put in.

Chesterman, a former executive at Planet Hollywood, last year bought this five-bedroom house on the seafront in Palm Beach, Florida, for £6.4m

Chesterman, a former executive at Planet Hollywood, last year bought this five-bedroom house on the seafront in Palm Beach, Florida, for £6.4m

Chesterman, a former executive at Planet Hollywood, last year bought this five-bedroom house on the seafront in Palm Beach, Florida, for £6.4m

The proposed deal caps a frenetic week of dealmaking in the City – including a £46billion takeover of Shire, Vodafone’s £16billion bid for swathes of Liberty Global’s European business and a £1.6billion offer for Virgin Money by Clydesdale owner CYBG.

ZPG shares rose 30.6 per cent, or 114.8p, to 490p. DMGT was up 1.3 per cent, or 9.5p, to 720.5p. 

Chesterman, a serial entrepreneur who sold DVD rental service Love Film to Amazon in 2011 for £200million, will stay on as chief executive of ZPG following the takeover.

The tycoon, a former executive at Planet Hollywood, last year bought a five-bedroom house on the seafront in Palm Beach, Florida, for £6.4million. The property has a swimming pool, a library and a guest suite.

Simon Patterson, managing director of Silver Lake, said: ‘ZPG is a great growth technology company. 

We are delighted to partner with Alex Chesterman, one of Europe’s leading and most accomplished technology entrepreneurs, to invest in ZPG’s continued growth.’

 

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