February 22, 2017 / 6:40 PM / 6 months ago

UK online realtor Purplebricks seeks funding for U.S. launch

(Reuters) - British online real estate agent Purplebricks Group Plc said it intended to raise funds through a share issue to expand into the United States.

Purplebricks, backed by fund manager Neil Woodford, plans to raise up to 48.7 million pounds ($60.6 million) through the share sale at 220 pence apiece.

The company said it expected to use the net proceeds from the offering to set up businesses in number of key U.S. states.

Purplebricks, which estimates the U.S. real estate market to be worth about $70 billion annually in total commission income, said the first stage of its roll out in the country will begin in the second half of 2017.

Zeus Capital Ltd, Peel Hunt and Investec Bank are joint bookrunners for the offering.

Shares of Purplebricks, which has a market value of 560 million pounds, closed up 2.1 percent at 226 pence on Wednesday.

The company had reported a sharp rise in gross profit for the six months ended Oct. 31.

Reporting by Rahul B in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel

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