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iProperty Group Enters India By Acquiring RealAcres.com; To Invest Almost $500,000 In Working Capital

The IPGA Group (iProperty), a company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), has entered the Indian market by acquiring Horizon Infoventures, which owns the Indian property portal RealAcres. The acquisition has been made through its wholly owned subsidiary iProperty Group Asia Pte Ltd. iProperty will introduce print, exhibition and online luxury products to the Indian market. They had acquired an events company in March this year (see below for acquisitions).

The terms of the deal: iProperty will invest A$ 0.53 Million (around $470,000) in 4 tranches for 43 percent shares, and swap shares for 17 percent. They will have the option to acquire the remaining 40 percent based on future earnings. The management of RealAcres have a lock-in for a minimum of 3 years.

The deal appears similar to iProperty’s July 2008 acquisition of VRHouse.com.tw in Taiwan. RealAcres claims that it has around 211,000 property listings. The company is based in Mumbai, and focuses primarily on the Western India market. Do note that often real estate agents are offered free listings to get them to sign up for property sites, so the number of listings may not be an indication of paid listings, hence revenue.

Significant players in the online property space in India include MagicBricks (Times Business), 99Acres (Info Edge), Indiaproperty (Consim) and Makaan.com. HT Media and Manorama Online are also planning real estate portals.

RealAcres is just one of the acquisitions that the iProperty group has made since listing on the ASX. More on the iProperty Group and its acquisitions: IPGA raised around $7.5 million from the ASX in September 2007, and since then has acquired a number of Asian property businesses:

June 2007: Acquired Philippines property portal InvestPH.com, renamed as iproperty.com.ph
— Sep 2007: Some of the proceeds from the IPO were to be used to complete the acquisition of Info Tools Pte Ltd, which offers co-broking tools via Singapore’s Multiple Listing Service; Info Tools has around 15 years of historical data and property listing information, which IPGA planned to use for its properties.
— Dec 2007: Acquired HongKong’s GoHome property network for $1.21 million
— Mar 2008: Acquired Keagen Group Sdn Bhd for around $2.4 Million. The company owns the International Home Buyer and Property Investor series of exhibitions. Company was renamed iProperty Events Sdn Bhd.
— July 2008: Acquires majority stake in VRHouse.com.tw in Taiwan – To invest A$0.53 Million for 25% stake, 51% voting rights, and acquire 26% over 2 years, based on performance. [pdf]

View:
IPGA Cash Flows for Quarter ending June 2008
IPO Prospectus (company listed on the ASX in Sep 2007)

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Related:
Manorama Group To Launch Real Estate Portal Next
–- HT Media Plans Real Estate Portal Launch For Q1 2010
–- Performance Numbers For 99Acres.com

Disclosure: I own an inconsequential number of shares of Info Edge

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