FT Thursday 5th June 2014

  1. Zoopla aims for £1bn valuation in IPO


Fast growing property portal Zoopla is set to hold an IPO that could value the company at over £1bn. Zoopla emerged in recent years as a strong challenger to the former dominant rightmove.com, and looks set to cement its place with an IPO with an eye catching value. Zoopla’s business model is to allow estate agents to list properties on its portal, charging them a fee for doing so, which has allowed it to enjoy rapid growth over the past few years.  Zoopla and rightmove face competition from new challenger set up by a coalition of high end estate agents, Agents Mutual. Agents Mutual are concerned by the presence of only the two websites in the market, believing that they have the potential to cut estate agents out of the home-buying process altogether or start to increase the fee that they charge estate agents to list.


  1. Goldman Sachs beefs up Asia M&A team


US investment banking giant Goldman Sachs has reshuffled its deck in a series of personnel relocations that will increase its capacity in the East Asia ex Japan Mergers and Acquisitions market. Goldman’s is the biggest investment bank in the region and at the mid-point of the year 2014 has already nearly matched the value of deals it has been advising on to the whole of 2013.


  1. Alibaba buys 50% of Chinese football club


Alibaba has continued its multi-billion dollar shopping spree with a foray into Football. Group chairman Jack Ma has agreed to buy a 50% share in a leading Chinese football team. Evergrande FC are managed by experience Italian coach Marcello Lippi and just this year became the first Chinese team to win the Asian champions league. Ma has been on a spending spree in recent months, purchasing a diverse range of businesses in Asia and the US as the group looks to increase its attractiveness to investors ahead of its expected third quarter IPO.  


  1. Sterling agrees $2bn Clippers sale to Steve Ballmer


Controversial owner of the LA Clippers Donald Sterling has agreed to sell his ownership of the team for $2bn. Sterling hit the headlines recently after a secret audio of him making racist remarks about black people to a former girlfriend were leaked to a US gossip website. The scandal rocked the NBA, is a league made up predominantly of black players. The new owner will be the former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who has a keen interest in Basketball and stepped down from his role at the computer giant in February. 


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