Purplebricks’ share price yesterday plunged to 90.5p at one point - well below the 100p level at which the company originally floated.
Although the price recovered in late trading the volatility followed renewed speculation about possible new investors and uncertainty over the agency’s US operation.
As recently as May 2 - just three weeks ago - the share price was 137.2p but since that time the company has lost founder Michael Bruce, closed its Australian operation and just this week revealed that its US activities were under review.
Some 22 months ago Purplebricks’ shares closed one day of trading in July 2017 at a remarkable 498.5p - valuing the firm at five times its worth today.
This week is rather different with the latest analysis of UK market share conducted by the consultancy The Advisory revealing that the top 10 online agents have only 4.4 per cent market share.Ad
Within that 10, Purplebricks is the clear leader but even here its dominance has dipped slightly in recent weeks.
The share price drop is despite new investment in the agency from Toscafund Management, a hedge fund that has backed the online agency sector in the past, including HouseSimple and EasyProperty.
Toscafund acquired nearly three million extra Purplebricks shares last week; it now owns 5.64 per cent of the firm.
This morning the trade publication The Negotiator is speculating that US private equity fund Francisco Partners specialises may be about to invest. It has $12 billion of funds under management.