You could have had odds of 4/1 as second favourite Zoopla is reported as being the mystery bidder in the quest for PropertyFinder.
If the deals go ahead, pundits are already saying it is a good deal for all parties, but does this mean a change in direction for Zoopla?
Yes, PropertyFinder is a good brand and makes a good acquisition, but surely Zoopla want to continue to build the Zoopla brand. As we mentioned a while back, despite having pot fulls of cash, Globrix has shown how difficult it is to get your 'brand' established in this market. So why not try and bypass the years of brand building and jump the que? Excellent idea, but then what do you do now you have two brands, one well established and the other still at the beginning? Running them alongside one another has proven problematic.
Playing devil's advocate, why not just ditch the 'Zoopla' brand and integrate the Zoopla business model into PropertyFinder?! The alternatives are less attractive from a brand point of view.
Of course, Zoopla may see this as the first as many acquisitions, but then they become no different to News International, the REA Group et al and we are back to square one.
Due diligence is no doubt still underway, but as the lawyers and accountants argue over why so many paperclips were purchased, what will happen to the staff, the management, the business? Watch this space.
I haven't been invited to join the new board yet, but I guess they are waiting until the deal is sealed to announce such a high profile appointment.