In a press release made by the company yesterday, it was announced that former head of domain.com.au, Chris Meehan has been confirmed as the new CEO for Onthehouse Holdings Ltd, along with a restructure and separation of the companies consumer and real estate solutions businesses.
Onthehouse Chairman Tony Scotton who announced the appointment said, “Chris has a track record of success in technology businesses having been in charge of Domain.com.au from 2000 to 2006 and the ASX listed Travel.com.au before it was sold to Wotif.”
Mr Meehan has been the Acting CEO of Onthehouse Holdings Ltd since February. Mr Scotton also announced the findings of the company’s strategic review reached by the Board and management.
The review found that the Consumer Online Division (COD) which includes onthehouse.com.au and data assets and the Console Real Estate Solutions (RES) are distinct businesses and there would be greater benefits if they were managed independently with a focused strategy for each business.
Mr Scotton said, “The board wants to accelerate the investment in the Consumer Online Business as we develop a disruptive consumer online business that empowers consumers to make informed property decisions to maximise the value of their property.”
As a result the Board has decided the Consumer Online Business (COD) will be separated from the listed company and will be developed in a non-listed JV vehicle in which Onthehouse Holdings would maintain an interest of between 30% and 49%.
Onthehouse’s largest shareholder Michael Dempsey will be the Chairman of the new entity which will also include current Board member Lisa Hickson.
“We are in discussions with a number of potential JV partners who can provide funding, experience or other industry assets. Console’s Real Estate Solutions Business (RES) will continue to be developed in the current, listed, legal entity.
“The Console Real Estate Solutions business generates approximately $9 million in free cash per year. We will be using that funding to execute our plans to build the next generation real estate SaaS software platform that enables real estate agents to confidently grow and manage their business. This project has already commenced and it is a key priority to the board,” said Mr Scotton.
The Onthehouse Board believes significant shareholder value will be created in this new structure without the full responsibility of funding the Consumer Online Division. It will also enable those parties attracted by the Consumer Online Division opportunity to invest and provide the funding necessary to develop the COD business without the need for the Onthehouse to raise capital and dilute the current shareholding.