German publishing group Axel Springer (SPR.DE) on Monday announced that it had doubled its stake in Purplebricks (PURP.L), just weeks after the online real estate agency pulled back on its international expansion plans.
Axel Springer now holds 26.6% of the company, up from its previous 12.4% stake.
It paid £1 per share, significantly lower than the £3.60 it had paid in March 2018.
The publishing group’s previous investment was supposed to help the company accelerate its overseas expansion.
But the company last month ousted its CEO and announced that it would both pull out of Australia and scale back its ambitions in the US.
The company’s chairman, Paul Pindar, said the company’s rate of geographic expansion was “too rapid,” and that the quality of execution had “suffered.”
“We have also made sub-optimal decisions in allocating capital. We will learn from these errors and will not make them again,” he said.
Purplebricks was founded in 2012 with the aim of disrupting the real estate market. It has no local branches, and charges an up-front fee for advertising properties and arranging viewings.
The move also comes at a crucial time for Axel Springer. Last week, the publishing group said that its main shareholders were in talks with US investment group KKR to take the $5bn ($3.9bn) company private in order to pursue a long-term growth strategy.