The Swedish venture capital company EQT Partners has followed up its headline acquisition of Spanish market-leading portal company Idealista with the purchase of Italian property portal company Casa.it. The acquisition is for an undisclosed sum and is expected to be completed subject to customary approvals in December.
According to a press release, EQT had been impressed with Casa.it’s growth and believes there are “favorable secular megatrends” in the Italian market which will allow for more growth in the near future. EQT Partner and Investment Advisor Bert Janssens said of the deal:
“We are impressed with Casa’s growth journey over the past few years. Luca Rossetto and his management team, together with Oakley, have done a great job developing the Company and positioning it as one of the leading online real estate classifieds platforms in Italy. EQT is looking forward to joining forces and continuing on this journey together with Casa.”
EQT will be acquiring what is largely thought of as the #3 player in the Italian property portal market. The company was founded in 1996 making it the oldest property portal in the country and has been working hard over the last 3 years to update its offering. Servicing 14,000 agents and with 1 million active listings in a country where, as Casa.it CEO Luca Rosetto told us in a recent episode of our vodcast series, there is room for growth in terms of digital literacy and internet penetration, the portal represents an attractive acquisition for EQT.
Yesterday afternoon’s press release from EQT makes it clear that Casa.it’s management will continue to lead the company going forwards, and speaking about the deal, Rosetto said:
“This step comes after a three-year period of radical change at Casa.it. Our technology platform, brand equity, skills and organization are now positioning Casa.it to be a much stronger player in the Italian market. We are very much looking forward to working with EQT on the next phase of Casa’s development. Their experience in Italy and in the online digital sector will be valuable to us as we look to continue to expand both our real estate agent customer base and service offering to property seekers in the Italian market.”
The deal will mean that two of Italy’s leading players in the property market will be under EQT ownership as Idealista also runs a successful portal in Italy as well as in Spain and Portugal. The deal may be bad news for the current Italian market-leading portal Immobiliare.it which is owned by Real Web SA, a company that also owns top Greek property portal Spitogatos and has a stake in Immotop in Luxembourg.
Casa.it was previously owned by Oakley Capital, a London based venture firm that owns the Luxembourg based atHome group of portals which includes atHome.de, atHome.lu and immoregion.fr. Although the atHome portals share branding and, until yesterday, an owner with Casa.it, the press release does not mention them and they are not thought to be part of the deal.