Desjardins Group has reached an agreement with Purplebricks Group plc in the U.K. to acquire its Canadian holding company and its two brands—Purplebricks Canada and DuProprio. Combined, the acquired companies have more than 500 employees in Canada, with over 300 in Quebec and 200 across Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta, the company says. The deal is valued at about $60.5 million.
Purplebricks acquired ComFree (which was rebranded to Purplebricks Canada in 2019) and DuProprio from Yellow Pages Limited in 2018. Desjardins says that Purplebricks Canada and DuProprio will continue to be run by the existing teams according to their respective business plans. “Desjardins wants to keep the companies’ current employees and honour the companies’ existing contracts,” it says in a news release.
Based out of offices in Hamilton, Winnipeg and Edmonton, Purplebricks Canada provides fixed-fee real estate brokerage services for home sellers in Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta. In Quebec, DuProprio has offices in Lévis and Montreal and provides real estate services without an agent. Desjardins says the company is associated with more than 20 per cent of residential real estate sales in Quebec.
“Desjardins is already the top mortgage lender and home insurer in Quebec and is one of the top three property and casualty insurers in Ontario,” says Guy Cormier, president and CEO of Desjardins Group, in a news release. “Buying or selling a home is one of the biggest – and most stressful – decisions that our members and clients, and other consumers will make in their lives. As a co-operative organization, it was a natural fit for us to acquire Purplebricks’ holding in Canada, present in four different provinces and sharing Desjardins’ strong member and client culture. Through our competitive mortgages and thanks to this acquisition, we will keep on supporting people, whether they choose a commission structure, a fixed-fee service or support without an agent.”
Randall Weese, Purplebricks Canada’s broker of record, says in the release: “It’s great news for our company, our clients and our employees to have ownership of the company back in Canada. Desjardins is a strong co-operative financial group and we’re excited to be joining the family. Our services were created to be a modern and practical alternative to traditional real estate brokerage services. We help Canadians buy and sell and save thousands in commission fees while offering cutting-edge technology and exceptional service. With Desjardins, we’re going to continue our work helping consumers get the most out of the sale of their property.”