Lévis (Quebec, Canada), July 15th, 2020 - Desjardins Group, the leading cooperative financial group in Canada, has reached an agreement today with Purplebricks Group plc ("Purplebricks"), the leading UK hybrid estate agency, to acquire its Canadian holding company, 9059-2114 Québec inc. The Canadian holding and its companies operate two brands--Purplebricks Canada and DuProprio--each with a unique business model. Combined, the acquired companies have more than 500 employees in Canada, with over 300 in Quebec and some 200 across Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta. The deal, valued at about CAN$60.5 million, takes effect on July 15th, 2020.

Ownership returns to Canada

Purplebricks acquired ComFree (which was rebranded to Purplebricks Canada in 2019) and DuProprio from Yellow Pages Limited in 2018. The deal announced today brings ownership of both of those entities back to Canada. Purplebricks Canada and DuProprio will continue to be run by the existing teams according to their respective business plans. Desjardins wants to keep the companies' current employees and honour the companies' existing contracts.

Two different business models

Based out of offices in Hamilton, Winnipeg and Edmonton, Purplebricks Canada provides fixed-fee innovative real estate brokerage services for home sellers in Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta--provinces where the financial bar for entry into the real estate market is often high. In Quebec, DuProprio has offices in Lévis and Montreal and provides real estate services without an agent. The company is associated with more than 20% of residential real estate sales in Quebec.

Desjardins continues pan-Canadian growth

"Desjardins is already the top mortgage lender and home insurer in Quebec and is one of the top three property and casualty insurers in Ontario," says Guy Cormier, President and CEO of Desjardins Group. "Buying or selling a home is one of the biggest--and most stressful--decisions that our members and clients, and other consumers will make in their lives. As a co-operative organisation, it was a natural fit for us to acquire Purplebricks' holding in Canada, present in four different provinces and sharing Desjardins's strong member and client culture. Through our competitive mortgages and thanks to this acquisition, we will keep on supporting people, whether they choose a commission structure, a fixed-fee service or support without an agent," says Cormier.

Good news for Canadian onwnership

"It's great news for our company, our clients and our employees to have ownership of the company back in Canada," said Randall Weese, licensed Broker of Record, who oversees the customer service and compliance departments at Purplebricks Canada. "Desjardins is a strong cooperative financial group and we're excited to be joining the family. Our services were created to be a modern and practical alternative to traditional real estate brokerage services. We help Canadians buy and sell and save thousands in commission fees while offering cutting-edge technology and exceptional service. With Desjardins, we're going to continue our work helping consumers get the most out of the sale of their property."

Real estate market in Quebec and Ontario

On June 30, Desjardins economists updated their Spotlight on Housing and looked at how the real estate market in Quebec and Ontario is rebounding after the lockdown due to COVID-19.

About Purplebricks Canada

Purplebricks is a full-service real estate brokerage providing Canadian home sellers and buyers with the best REALTOR® expertise and customer service, supported by cutting-edge technology. Sellers save tens of thousands of dollars using our fixed fee service, rather than paying a commission based on the value of their home, and home buyers receive thousands in cash back. Purplebricks operates in Ontario, Alberta and Manitoba.

REALTOR®. Member of the Canadian Real Estate Association and more.

About DuProprio

Thanks to its devoted team, DuProprio pursues the mission of providing to Quebec homeowners the support and services they need to sell their property without commission. Over 300,000 consumers have sold their property through DuProprio's services since it was founded in 1997. Today, DuProprio features the most liked real estate site in Quebec, showcasing over 20,000 properties for sale.

Caution concerning forward-looking statements

Certain statements made in this press release, including those concerning the management of businesses acquired as a result of the transaction, maybe considered forward-looking statements. By their very nature, forward looking statements involve assumptions, uncertainties and inherent risks, both general and specific. It is therefore possible that, due to many factors, the forward-looking statements contained herein fail to materialize or prove to be inaccurate and that actual results differ materially therefrom. A number of factors, certain of which are beyond Desjardins Group's control and the effects of which can be difficult to predict, could influence the accuracy of the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. Although Desjardins Group believes that the expectations presented in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that these expectations will prove to be correct. Readers are cautioned by Desjardins Group not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements when taking their decisions. Desjardins Group does not undertake to update any oral or written forward-looking statements that could be made from time to time by or on behalf of Desjardins Group, except as required under applicable securities legislation.

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