Ebay’s European classifieds division titles are up for sale according to reports from sources close to the matter. A veritable who’s who of equity firms have been linked with the deal, with a joint play from Blackstone, Hellman & Friedman and Permira reported to be going up against other heavyweights such as Zoopla owner Silver Lake and NoBroker backer General Atlantic.
The triumvirate of firms in pole position to make the deal have plenty of experience in the classifieds sector. Blackstone recently backed private rental marketplace Zumper to the tune of $60 million, while Permira has been a heavy backer of the Allegro Group in Poland since 2016 and Hellman & Friedman recently acquired leading German car portal AutoScout24.
Ebay’s Q1 results were solid, but undermined somewhat by the performance of the classifieds division which has been adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Activist investors have been pushing new CEO Jamie Iannone to sell off underperforming parts of the business and it looks as though that will now happen.
The names up for grabs in an interim bidding round on the 21st of May include some familiar brands in the world of classifieds:
Whichever firm or firms eBay Classifieds ends up in the hands of, the deal will follow the trend of market consolidation we have seen recently, with EMPG acquiring Kaidee and Lamudi as well as partnering with OLX in the Middle East.