July 9, 2018 / 7:30 AM / 2 months ago

Germany's Axel Springer raises stake in Britain's Purplebricks

(Reuters) - German publisher Axel Springer (SPRGn.DE) has raised its holding in British online estate agent Purplebricks Group (PURP.L) to 12.5 percent and does not rule out a further increase.

Axel Springer, which bought 3 million Purplebrick shares for 3.07 pounds each, in March paid about 125 million pounds ($166 million) for an 11.5 percent stake in Purplebricks.

“We still view this as an innovative business model that allows us to participate in new markets,” a spokesman for Berlin-based Axel Springer said.

“It is possible that we increase the stake further but there are presently no concrete plans to that end.”

Purplebricks, which has challenged traditional operators in Britain such as Countrywide (CWD.L) and Foxtons (FOXT.L), ventured into the United States last year - its third market after Britain and Australia.

It reported a quadrupling of full-year operating loss on Thursday.

($1 = 0.7517 pounds)

Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru and Andreas Cremer in Berlin; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri and Mark Potter

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