Ringier confirms acquisition of majority stake in Romanian real estate ads portal

By bne IntelliNews March 31, 2016

Swiss media company Ringier confirmed on March 31 it has acquired a majority stake in Romania’s largest real estate advertising portal imobiliare.ro.

The transaction comes one year after the Swiss company bought the remaining 30% it did not already own in job ads portal ejobs.ro. The acquisition is part of the company’s global strategy to gradually expand its digital business.

Ringier said in a statement it has acquired an 87% stake in Realmedia Network, the company controlling imobiliare.ro, and the management of the website. Three of the former owners will keep minority stakes in the company.

“The acquisition of imobiliare.ro is a step forward in our efforts to transform and digitize our business in all the markets we operate, including Eastern Europe. Thanks to this transaction, Ringier now owns both the number one online recruitment portal in Romania and the largest real estate portal in the country,” Ringier CEO Marc Walder said.

The financial details of the transaction were not disclosed, but news portal profit.ro said on March 30 Ringier would pay up to €31mn for the portal. The Swiss company paid around €21mn immediately and was expected to pay another €10mn in the next two years for the portal, depending on the financial performance of the business, unnamed sources close to the transaction claimed.

However, Ringier Romania head Mihnea Vasiliu told news portal Hotnews.ro on March 31 that the figures were “nonsense” and refused to give any financial detail on the transaction.

Imobiliare.ro is the biggest real estate ads portal in Romania, with traffic of more than 1mn unique users per month, according to Trafic.ro. It was launched in 2000. Realmedia Network had a turnover of around RON10mn (€2.2mn) in 2015, according to market sources.

Ringier has been present on the Romanian market since 1992. It employs more than 400 people and manages more than 30 print and online media products.

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