News Corp’s Propertyfinder Holdings has bought Sherlock Publications, the publisher of rival portal HotProperty.co.uk, for GBP5.6m (USD11m). Following the takeover, all Propertyfinder.com’s advertisers will automatically be listed on Hotproperty.co.uk as well.
The two websites, however, will continue to work independently. Propertyfinder Holdings – jointly-owned by News Corp subsidiaries News International and the REA Group – claims the two properties will attract an aggregated 2.4m monthly unique users and 5,500 subscribing estate agents.
The acquisition is meant to consolidate Propertyfinder.com’s second place in the UK property portal sector, behind leader Rightmove. It follows News International’s investment in property search engine, Globrix, last Oct. With the takeover, Propertyfinder Holdings also acquires Sherlock’s renting.co.uk as well as magazines Hotproperty and Renting.