Bosses at struggling online estate agent Purplebricks launched a formal process to sell the business after several potential buyers expressed an interest in recent weeks.

The company said it had received the approaches after saying in mid-February that it would review its future.

Then, the business said “the potential of the group may be better realised under an alternative ownership structure”.

On Wednesday the business launched a formal sales process and said that it would invite bids from potential interested suitors.

It said: “The group has received several credible expressions of interest that the board wish to pursue in a coordinated fashion, alongside engaging with a wider range of potentially interested parties, in relation to a potential acquisition of the company or some or all of the group’s business and assets.”

It added: “The company is not currently in receipt of an approach from any potential offeror at the date of this announcement.”

Purplebricks had a lot of success in its early years, disrupting an old industry. But it has fallen on tougher times recently.

In 2017 the company’s shares were selling for around £5 each. Today one share in Purplebricks would set you back less than eight pence.

Last month it cut its outlook for revenue and profit this year, as its strategy to refocus the business proved more expensive than first thought.