Purplebricks, an online estate agent based in London, England, has acquired the DuProprio/ComFree Network from Yellow Pages Digital & Media Solutions Limited.
The deal is for $51 million, the companies say.
It expanded to North America in September 2017 in Los Angeles and moved into San Diego, Sacramento and Fresno earlier this year. It is also planning to expand to Las Vegas and Phoenix.
“DuProprio/ ComFree developed a strong presence in delivering a flat-fee, cost-effective, professional real estate service to the people of Canada, challenging the conventional agency market,” says Michael Bruce, global chief executive of Purplebricks. “Their model of bringing a range of service packages and support, with access to expertise, from coaches to legal professionals, is proving highly attractive to the Canadian public, and has aspects in common with the Purplebricks model and ethos in the U.K., Australia and the U.S.”
The company says DuProprio/ ComFree has built up a 20.2-per-cent market share of the real estate market in the province of Quebec and has a two-per-cent market share in Ontario and 2.3 per cent in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.
It will continue to be led by the existing management team headed by CEO Marco Dodier, CFO Jean Bruno Lessard, COO Lukas Lhotsky and CLO Marie-Christine Blain.
“We admire Purplebricks for what they have achieved across three continents in just four years,” says Dodier. “We share their ambition and desire to offer consumers a new and better way to buy and sell property. To have their support, expertise and financial backing will help propel DPCF to even greater heights and allow us to replicate our success in Quebec across the rest of Canada.”
DuProprio/ComFree employs about 400 people in offices in Quebec, Montreal, Hamilton, Winnipeg and Edmonton.
Under the DuProprio brand in French-speaking Quebec, the company offers homeowners a flat fee listing service for property sales. Under the ComFree banner in the rest of Canada, the company operates an online brokerage model that also offers a flat fee. “Customers only select and pay for the services that they want and the DPCF platforms provide customers with the tools and information needed to manage the sale of their homes successfully,” the company says.