It appears that idealista majority shareholder EQT Partners has handed the responsibility for operations of the Italian property portal Casa.it over to the idealista team which, according to reports in the Spanish press, will take over operations of the Italian portal and its 240 or so employees.
Shortly after buying a majority stake in Southern European property portal group idealista back in September, private investment firm EQT dipped into the Italian market to acquire #3 Italian portal Casa.it. With idealista already owning and operating the eponymous Italian #2 portal, some form of consolidation between Casa.it and idealista.it was always likely and the cat may have been out of the bag when it was reported on Monday that longtime Casa.it CEO and recent Online Marketplaces interviewee Luca Rossetto was set to leave his position.
Also significant here is the news that former Casa.it majority shareholder Oakley Capital has reached an agreement with EQT to purchase around 10% of EQT’s stake in idealista. Oakley Capital had previously bought out Casa.it from Australian portal giant REA Group in 2015 before selling the asset to idealista late last year.
Around the time that EQT Partners bought idealista from former majority shareholder APAX Partners it was reported that the motivation behind the sale was frustration at a lack of progress towards an IPO. With fellow dominant European property portal Rightmove having a market cap of over £ 7 billion and being a stock-market favourite, the price reportedly paid by Oakley for its 10% values idealista at €1.8 billion and may still represent a bargain for a company with a dominant position in both Spain and Portugal as well as a very strong #2 position in Italy.
Online Marketplaces has reached out to idealista for comment and clarification and will update this article as and when we receive a reply.