REA Group Limited (ASX:REA) announced today it has acquired a 17.22% shareholding in iProperty Group Limited (ASX:IPP), an online property business operating in South East Asia. The shares have been acquired from SeLoger.com SA, operator of France’s largest property classifieds portal and a subsidiary of the digital publisher Axel Springer SE, for a total cash consideration of A$106.3 million.
iProperty Group has online property advertising operations in Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore, as well as investments in India and the Philippines.
As a result of this acquisition, REA Group will enter into discussions with iProperty Group regarding seeking representation on the Board.
REA Group Interim CEO Peter Tonagh said the acquisition supported the Group’s stated strategy of investing in markets where conditions are strong.
“This acquisition provides us with a strategic stake in one of the fastest growing real estate markets in the world and complements our existing business in Hong Kong, and the recent launch of MyFun.com and our partnership with Soufun.com in China.
“The iProperty Group’s portfolio of brands are strongly positioned in each of their respective markets throughout South-East Asia.
“We understand and respect the business models in play in these markets and look forward to working with the iProperty Group Board to support the continued delivery of their exceptional results,” said Mr Tonagh.
In reference to the acquisition, iProperty Group Chairman Patrick Grove said: “The Board and I are delighted that REA Group has chosen to invest in IPP and we look forward to working with them to continue to deliver on our Asian success story.”
Commenting on the acquisitions, REA Group Chairman Hamish McLennan, said: “This acquisition further demonstrates our commitment to international expansion. It is a fantastic opportunity for REA Group and a continuation of our growth strategy in the Asian region.”
The acquired shares represent SeLoger.com’s existing stake of 31,272,311 shares held in iProperty Group (A$3.40 per share).