German media company Axel Springer has picked up a 9.4% stake in IPGA Ltd., the Australian company that runs property portals under the brand name iProperty.com in Hong Kong, Malaysia,India, Indonesia and Philippines, for AUD 8.9 million (Rs 42.17 crore approx.), by acquiring 15,347,500 shares of the company through SeLoger.com, one of its subsidiary company. The shares will be voluntarily locked up for 9 months from completion. SeLoger is France’s leading property portal and was acquired by Axel Springer in March 2011. IPGA has agreed to provide SeLoger with the opportunity to participate in any non pro rata cash offering in order to maintain its interest in IPGA at that time and SeLoger.com has the right to nominate a representative to be on the Board of IPGA.
According to the company, the investment will provide IPGA with funds and experience to consolidate its positions in Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Indonesia, and share its experience in residential and commercial portals, software, print, and events with IPGA for expansion in the Asian region.Roland Tripard, the CEO of SeLoger.com, will join the Board of IPGA.
Axel Springer’s Other Investment in India
Last year, Axel Springer had picked up a 52.1% stake in auto-classifieds site Carwale.com. Axel Springer and the India Today group already have a 49:51 joint venture partnership in India to publish the fortnightly magazine Auto Bild. In addition to the partnership it also has a 19.1% stake in the Indian discount buying business Bag It Today, which is also a subsidiary of the India Today group.
iProperty & Real Acres
IPGA had entered the Indian market in 2008 by acquiring Horizon Infoventures, which used to run the Indian property portal RealAcres. The plan, at that point in time, was to “invest A$ 0.53 Million (around $470,000) in 4 tranches for 43 percent shares, and swap shares for 17 percent.” We’re not sure of how many tranches have been invested so far, but with Axel Springer now investing in iProperty, there might be a renewed push for iProperty India.
iProperty India claims that it has more than 2,11,562 property listings, and provides financial and real estate news, in addition to property rates for commercial and residential sectors, advice through Q & A sections and experts, and financial tools.