The American private equity fund General Atlantic has made a bid to become a minority shareholder in the market-leading Dutch real estate portal company funda.
According to an article on the portal's website, General Atlantic has made an offer for the 1.5 million shares held by the funda's founding agent members.
The shares represent 29.41% of funda with General Atlantic offering to pay €64.43 per share. Shareholders opting to receive payment in 12 months would receive €69.43 per share.
Each shareholder has until the 22nd of December to register their share certificates for the sale with General Atlantic wanting to acquire a minimum stake of 18.46%. If the deal goes ahead it will lead to a new supervisory board at funda.
Founded in 2001, funda is the clear market leader in the Dutch real estate market with a healthy traffic and brand lead over its competitors. The portal is controlled by the the NVM (the Dutch Cooperative Association of Brokers and Valuers) which will retain a majority shareholding if the General Atlantic bid is successful.
The NVM announced in May that, after years of speculation and some internal turmoil, it was actively seeking a new minority shareholder. Until now agents who hold shares in the portal have only been able to trade shares between each other.
Several bids were considered with General Atlantic ultimately chosen thanks to the firm's experience working with leading European real estate portals including Hemnet, Immoweb, Homegate and ImmoScout24.
The potential deal for agent-led funda has parallels in other markets around the world. The majority agent-owned British real estate portal OnTheMarket is currently the subject of a £100 million takeover bid from the U.S. real estate data giant CoStar while the parent of Realtor.ca is said to be weighing up spinning off the leading portal to attract outside investment.