According to reports in Russia, leading horizontal player Avito is trying to buy leading real estate marketplace company Cian.ru.
According to sources close to the Russian competition authorities quoted in Forbes, the proposed deal is awaiting confirmation from the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) after being submitted over the summer.
The FAS reportedly sent out a questionnaire to several real estate marketplace sites over the summer to help investigators understand market rates, shares and business practices. Forbes claims that although several of Cian's competitors did not respond to requests to confirm receipt of the questionnaire, Yandex's classifieds division did confirm that it had received it.
The potential acquisition would be huge in the context of the Russian real estate market.
Through its generalist classifieds site Avito and its specialist vertical site Domofond, international classifieds giant Prosus already controls a 40% market share according to Forbes. With leading specialist vertical site Cian.ru in the fold, this market dominance would shoot up to a figure Forbes puts at 62%.
Cian counts Elbrus Capital and Goldman Sachs among its shareholders and as recently as last month was reported by Reuters to be eyeing up an IPO in the United States looking to raise $300 million. Today's report in Forbes would seem to throw cold water on the notion of a public listing and indeed cast doubt on the original sources of that story.