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Zoopla Buys Price-Comparison Site uSwitch for $247 Million

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Zoopla Property Group Plc, the U.K. real estate website, bought energy and communications price comparison site uSwitch for 160 million pounds ($247 million). Zoopla shares had their biggest ever gain.

Zoopla will pay a performance-based fee of as much as 30 million pounds, the company said in a statement Thursday. uSwitch revenue totaled 62.9 million pounds last year, according to the statement.

The deal is the “natural next step in the evolution of property portals,” Alex Chesterman, founder and chief executive officer of Zoopla, said on a conference call. It will be “significantly accretive to earnings in year one.”

Zoopla is branching out as it attempts to build a single platform where customers can both find and manage their home. The company said it attracts 44 million unique visitors each month. As well as energy and communications, uSwitch helps consumers compare home-related financial services such as insurance and mortgages.

Zoopla climbed as much as 19 percent in London, the most since the shares started trading in June 2014. The stock was up 16 percent at 215 pence at 8:25 a.m., giving the company a market value of 895 million pounds.

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