Adevinta has today announced that it has signed an agreement to sell three of its market-leading classifieds companies to Frontier Digital Ventures for $56 million Australian Dollars. Leading Colombian property portal Fincaraíz along with leading horizontals Avito in Morocco and Tayara in Tunisia will be sold to the Malaysian-headquartered outfit which specializes in developing classifieds businesses in emerging markets and already operates successful classifieds businesses in South America under the InfoCasas brand as well as in Africa with Meqasa in Ghana and Kupatana in Tanzania.
According to this morning’s press release, the sale of three of its assets is part of a process of portfolio optimisation and a strategy that will see the Schibsted offshoot focus on “large markets with leading positions”. No mention was made by Adevinta CEO Rolv Erik Ryssdal of the mega-deal entered into by his company in July to acquire ebay’s classifieds division for a reported $9.2 billion:
“These divestments represent another important milestone in the optimisation of our portfolio. We are proud of how our teams in Morocco, Tunisia and Colombia have developed leading market positions by providing quality products and services to their users and customers.”
“Although we see great growth potential for Avito, Tayara and Fincaraíz, our strategy is to place enhanced focus on large markets with leading positions. Frontier Digital Ventures is committed to growing these sites to their full potential. I am confident that their expertise in Emerging Markets will support these sites’ continued growth for the benefit of their local markets, users and teams.”
From the point of view of Frontier Digital Ventures, the deal represents a great opportunity to expand its portfolio and acquire some true thoroughbred classifieds players. Both Avito in Morocco (23 million monthly visits) and Tayara in Tunisia (10 million monthly visits) were founded by Schibsted in 2012 and occupy leading positions in their markets, and in Fincaraíz the company has acquired a property portal which has grown its traffic by 20% to 6.5 million monthly visits and its seller pool by 25% to 75,000 since 2019. Speaking about his company’s new assets, FDV Founder and CEO Shaun Di Gregorio said:
“Fincaraíz, Avito and Tayara are all great businesses in highly strategic and attractive markets for FDV. These acquisitions will complement FDV’s existing position in Morocco and accelerate our market entry into Colombia and Tunisia. We are highly supportive of the local management teams at Fincaraíz, Avito and Tayara. We look forward to working with each business to accelerate their growth and help them reach their full potential.”
The A$56 million deal is to be financed by a capital raising round from which FDV hopes to raise some A$100 at A$1.25 per share. The fundraising is to consist of a non-underwritten Institutional Placement of up to A$63.4m (Placement) and non-underwritten 1 for 9 Pro-Rata Accelerated Non-Renounceable Entitlement Offer of up to A$36.6m.
Today’s deal is sure to shift the balance of power in the world of property portals in both Africa and South America and represents something of a coup for Di Gregorio's company whose press release alluded to the importance of its new assets, which are "expected to make a significant contribution to revenue on an FDV ownership basis and increase scale and diversification across key geographies and verticals". For Adevinta the deal brings some liquidity before the impending ebay bill and it will be interesting to see if any further divestments are forthcoming as the company leans into its stated new strategy.