Southeast Asian real estate portal operator PropertyGuru has today announced that it has completed the deal to acquire REA Group's assets in the region just over two months since disclosing the agreement.
PropertyGuru now fully owns former REA Group assets iProperty Malaysia and Brickz.my as well as thinkofliving.com and prakard.com in Thailand. In return, the Australian portal company has taken an 18% interest in PropertyGuru and has had to divest its 27% stake in Southeast Asian portal operator 99 Group which it backed financially in 2019.
Hari V. Krishnan, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, PropertyGuru Group, said:
"By combining PropertyGuru’s strengths in technology and proprietary data with iProperty.com.my’s footprint and relationships with developers and agents, we can digitize the Malaysian property ecosystem and accelerate our goal of creating Southeast Asia’s property Trust Platform.
We welcome REA Group - a multinational property technology player, as a strategic shareholder, joining a distinguished group of technology investors, including KKR and TPG. We look forward to working together to serve property consumer preferences in Southeast Asia.”
Owen Wilson, Chief Executive Officer, REA Group, said,
“The completion of this transaction creates the most compelling PropTech group in Southeast Asia. As the digitisation of the property market continues to accelerate across the region, PropertyGuru is perfectly placed to build on its leadership position and capture future growth opportunities. We look forward to being part of this exciting journey.”
The closing of the REA Group deal comes at a time when PropertyGuru is making preparations to go public in the US via a SPAC merger with Peter Thiel and Richard Li's Bridgetown 2 Holdings, a deal that is expected to be completed in either Q4 of 2021 or Q1 of 2022.
With the deal to acquire its closest rival in Malaysia now concluded there is now little controversy around PropertyGuru's insistent claims to be the #1 portal group in Southeast Asia although the deal does leave an interesting situation in the region in terms of brand consolidation.
Although iProperty Malaysia is now under the control of PropertyGuru, an REA spokesperson confirmed that iProperty Singapore remains under the control of PropertyGuru's new regional rival 99 Group which also owns leading portals Rumah123 and 99.co in Indonesia. Whether either portal rebrands or if 99 Group sells up remains to be seen.
Read our deep-dive into the deal and its implications for all parties here