Yahoo Inc.'s Australian unit plans to acquire Sold.com.au from John Fairfax Holdings Ltd.'s f2 Internet group. The companies will also enter into a marketing agreement to continue distributing Sold content across f2's network of sites.
The aggregate value of the deal is around A$30 million (US$15.9 million), mostly in cash. A spokesperson for Yahoo said money flowed both ways in the deal, however the companies would not be disclosing specific details.
Speculation has mounted in recent days that f2 was looking to pull out of the auction game as eBay, a joint venture locally between Kerry Packer's Ecorp and eBay, has gained ascendency in the market. Only yesterday, an Ecorp official claimed eBay had grown revenues by 207 percent and would reach profitability next year.
And as late as last week, f2 executives were still dismissing talk of a sale of Sold.com.au as "old news and speculation".
In a statement released at midday today, Tony Faure, Yahoo Australia's managing director, said, "By leveraging our global network and resources with Sold's local auction expertise, CitySearch's strong sales force and f2's Domain.com.au real estate offerings, we hope to make Yahoo Australia & NZ an essential source for conducting online transactions and deliver an unparalleled internet experience to the marketplace."
Nigel Dews, the chief executive officer of f2, said: "We have built a very strong business in Sold.com.au, which will now be taken by a leading global brand to the next stage in its growth, and benefit Sold's buyers and sellers. Moving forward, we will build our businesses in CitySearch print and online directories, our classified supersites, and financial services, while continuing to distribute Sold.com.au on the f2 network."
Gross merchandise sales on sold.com.au for the period of July to December 2000 was just shy of A$12 million, according to Yahoo.
Yahoo and f2 have also entered into a strategic sales arrangement involving the f2 CitySearch directories, including the sale of co-branded Yahoo stores to CitySearch's business customers via CitySearch's sales force, and the distribution of f2's Domain.com.au real estate content on Yahoo Australia & NZ.
F2 is set to release its half-year financial results tomorrow.
Story courtesy of The Industry Standard Australia: http://www.thestandard.com.au