South Africa's biggest media house, Naspers today confirmed it is to buy London Stock Exchange-listed Internet auction company Tradus for R13,2-billion (GBP946-million).
In a SENS statement, Naspers says it will pay GBP18,00 per Tradus share, a 19% premium to the mid-market closing price of GBP15,10 on 6 November which was when Tradus announced it had received a preliminary approach about a potential offer.
Naspers says the move is part of its expansion strategy into the Internet sector and that the acquisition of Tradus "will consolidate the group`s presence in Poland and provide a platform to extend its reach to other central European and eastern European markets."
Naspers has specifically targeted the Internet in emerging markets and has various investments in Africa via M-Web, in China through a one-third interest in Tencent, in Russia with a similar stake in Mail.ru, and in India where an Internet business focusing on the youth community and local search is being developed.
In eastern Europe it is presently in the process of finalising a controlling interest in Gadu Gadu.
Tradus provides online consumer trading platforms and related internet services in 12 European countries that connect buyers and sellers. A selection of merchandise and services are available on the company`s website, ranging from consumer electronics and collectibles to lifestyle products, cars and real estate. Its most substantial market is Poland. Other eastern European operations are in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Russia, Slovakia and the Ukraine. In western Europe, Tradus has operations in the more mature markets of Denmark, Norway and Switzerland, but not all are well-established.
For its last financial year, Tradus reported turnover of R615-million (GBP46-million), generating a trading profit of R201-million (GBP15-million) and had net assets of R857-million (GBP60-million).
According to Moneyweb, shares in Naspers fell 7% on the JSE this morning following the announcement.