Executives at the price-comparison website uSwitch are in line for a near-£40m payday after the Zoopla property portal agreed to pay up to £190m for the business.
Under the deal, Zoopla will pay £160m, plus a potential £30m extra based on performance. That values the 20.5 per cent stake of the management, including the chief executive Steve Weller, at £39m. The private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group, LDC, owns 56.7 per cent of uSwitch and has more than doubled its money after buying a stake in 2013. Forward Internet Group owns the rest.
Zoopla wants to offer a one-stop portal where customers can find a home and then use uSwitch to manage or change their energy and broadband providers. USwitch, founded in 2000, receives more than 50 million visits a year and Zoopla’s boss Alex Chesterman, said it would kep its name.
In February, USwitch was among the comparison sites criticised by MPs for not showing consumers all of the cheapest tariffs available, or details of commission the sites earn.
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