Schibsted, a Norway based media giant with classified platforms in North Africa, has doubled its stake in OLX Brazil to 50 percent and increased the ownership of Chile’s Yapo from 50 to 100 percent in a move to strengthened its online classifieds portfolio in Latin America.
“I am very happy to announce that Schibsted is increasing its exposure to one of the greatest successes in online classifieds in emerging markets, OLX Brazil. The underlying development is very strong, we are excited about the further prospects for strong growth both here and in Chile,” CEO of Schibsted Rolv Erik Ryssdal said.
Schibsted has therefore taken over Telenor’s 50 percent of SnT Classifieds which retains control of 50 percent of OLX Brazil and at the same time, Telenor takes over Schibsted’s 33.3 percent and Singapore Press Holdings’ 33.3 percent of 701 Search. Schibsted has been a partner with SPH in Asia since 2006, and with Telenor in Asia and LatAm since 2013. As a result of the difference in valuation between the assets in Asia and LatAm, Schibsted will make a cash payment of USD 400 million to Telenor. Schibsted will finance the amount with debt, and has available funding.
The change is a consequence of Schibsted taking over Telenor’s share of SnT Classifieds.
The deal makes strong strategic and financial logic for Schibsted to increase its stakes in Brazil and Chile, and at the same time exit some Asian markets. The firm now runs market leading online classifieds sites not only in Brazil and Chile, but also in Mexico, Colombia and the Dominican Republic. In total, its footprint covers a LatAm population of 400 million.
OLX Brazil is the by far biggest online classifieds site in Brazil, with 6.3 million daily active users. This represents a daily reach of 5 percent in Brazil. Revenues of OLX Brazil reached BRL 99 million in 2016, which represented a growth of 120 percent compared to 2015. During 2016, OLX Brazil successfully introduced monetization of the professional content in both cars and real estate. The growth momentum is strong, and in Q1 2017, the revenue growth rate accelerated further while in Chile, Yapo holds strong positions in both the cars and real estate verticals based on traffic, brand and content and is well positioned to take market shares and increase revenues going forward.
Telenor on the other hand is closing Bangladeshi classifieds site nonprofitable Ekhanei.com which was owned by Telenor Group, Schibsted and Naspers. This closure ends a 2013 partnership between Telenor, Schibsted, 701 Search and Singapore Press Holdings (SPH). Telenor will own 100 percent of 701 Search and its assets in Malaysia, Vietnam, Myanmar and in Singapore.