Purplebricks founder Bruce weighs moving back into online estate agent

The founder of Purplebricks is weighing a move to regain control of the online estate agent less than two weeks after its board hoisted the 'for sale' sign.

Sky News has learnt that Michael Bruce is considering making an offer for Purplebricks, and is lining up prospective advisers to work with him.

The emergence of Mr Bruce's interest comes nearly four years after he quit as the company's chief executive.

Alongside brother Kenny, he founded Purplebricks just over a decade, shunning physical estate agent sites and promoting a fixed-fee online model.

The company has seen its valuation slump, however, by over 50% in the last year, and it now has a market value of just £23m.

Mr Bruce now presides over the intellectual property assets of Boomin, a property portal he founded after his exit from Purplebricks.

Boomin was forced to call in liquidators last year after it was unable to secure new funding.

Mr Bruce injected significant sums of his own money into Boomin to keep it operating.

"Whilst we had a plan, support from a number of existing shareholders and a solution with a new investor the progressively worsening economic situation, combined with increasing uncertainty in the housing market has resulted in us being unable to get the necessary funding round over the line in time to enable us to continue," he said at the time.

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One property industry source said there was likely to be industrial logic in combining the Boomin technology with that of Purplebricks.

The listed company said last month that it was open to offers after a series of profit warnings.

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Mr Bruce could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.