After months of talking about it, Zoopla and the Digital Property Group are finally merging. The transaction was announced in October and in April they received the "OK" from the Office of Fair Trading.
Alex Chesterman will become the CEO of the new entity and the David Dutton, the former Chairman of the Digital Property Group will become the Chairman on the new entity.
Alex Chesterman, Founder & CEO of Zoopla, said, “This merger is a huge step towards our goal of becoming the UK’s most useful online resource for property consumers and most effective online marketing partner for property advertisers. We still have much work to do over the coming months, but the result of integrating these businesses will be a significantly enhanced experience for our users and significantly enhanced value for our advertisers.”
Integration of the businesses is underway but will take some months to finalise. In the meantime, it will be business as usual for both companies, which we will be operated separately until the integration has been completed. Each of the existing brands of the combined business - Zoopla.co.uk, FindaProperty.com and Primelocation.com - will continue to operate for the foreseeable future.
The UK is now a two horse race with Rightmove still clearly in the driving seat. Even with the combined businesses (Zoopla, FAP and PrimeLocation), the new entity has a long way to go to close the gap and, more importantly, to move in front to Rightmove.
The biggest challenge will be deciding on a single or multiple brand and then how this is communicated to the advertisers.
The next few months will be critical.