Rightmove founders get £1.5m share bonus from flotation

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The Independent Online

A £400m flotation of the property website Rightmove next month will deliver a £100m windfall to its four owners and shares worth £1.5m to each of its three founders.

The group's four main owners - the mortgage bank HBOS, the life insurer Royal & Sun Alliance and the estate agents Connells and Countrywide - will sell a quarter of the company in total to staff, major City investors and estate agents that subscribe to the site.

Ed Williams, Rightmove's chief executive, and co-founders Miles Shipside and Nick McKittrick will each be awarded £1.5m in shares. Both Mr Williams and Mr McKittrick are former management consultants with Accenture. Mr Shipside is a trained chartered surveyor. All three founders will remain with the company after its flotation.

Mr Williams said: "It was always the intention to float the site right from the start."

Each of its 200-plus workers will be awarded £500 in shares, with the company picking up their tax bill. They will be given the chance to buy a further £3,000-worth of shares.

Owners of 8,500 estate agency branches, 950 letting agents and property developers who use the site have also been invited to invest up to £3,000 each in the float.

The country's biggest "clicks and mortar" website claims that 78 per cent of all those looking for property online visit its site. Rightmove also reckons to have captured about 60 per cent of all online property advertising spending in the five years since it was set up.

Rightmove had sales of £18.2m in the year to December, up from £9.2m the year before.