Naspers, the parent company of DSTV and majority owners of Konga, OLX and Wechat has announced that it has sold-off Poland-based Allegro Group for USD3.253 billion.
In statement made available to PageOne Startup Desk, Naspers dsiclosed that it sold its 100% equity stake in Allegro to which includes both Allegro.pl and Ceneo.pl, to funds advised by private equity firms Cinven, Permira and Mid Europa.
Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Poznan, Allegro is the most popular online shopping destination in Poland with more than 20 million registered users. Allegro provides an online marketplace for companies and private sellers to sell their products to consumers, resulting in total sales of more than 850 thousand items a day. The company employs 1,275 people across five offices in Poznań, Warszawa, Toruń, Wrocław and Kraków. Based in Wrocław, Ceneo.pl is the most popular online comparison shopping business in Poland.
Bob van Dijk, CEO of Naspers said: “Allegro is a business that we invested in during 2008, and since then we have built it into a respected and successful commerce brand in Poland. Its ability to grow while adapting to a changing market environment has ensured its success and it’s a business that continues to perform. We are extremely proud of Allegro’s team and success, and we are delighted that Cinven, Permira and Mid Europa will lead its next chapter. Our decision to sell Allegro is consistent with our strategy to find and realise value for our shareholders.”
David Barker, Partner at Cinven, said: “Allegro is a great business. It is a clear market leader and extremely well positioned to benefit from structural e-commerce drivers with a strong technology platform and strong reputation with its users. We are very excited to be working with management to drive the business growth and we are looking forward to be working alongside Permira and Mid Europa.”
Richard Sanders, Partner at Permira, commented: “The Permira Funds have been backing internet leaders for many years. In Allegro we have found a real gem which is the pre-eminent consumer and merchant internet brand in Poland. The business has a fantastic underlying technology platform and we look forward to backing the management team to develop it further. We believe Allegro is ideally positioned to capture the next wave of growth in online and mobile commerce.”
Pawel Padusinski, Partner at Mid Europa, added: “We recognise the strong organic growth opportunities available in the Polish e-commerce and retail sectors. Our investment in Allegro is consistent with our strategy of supporting leading market players with impressive track records in the CEE region. We are enthusiastic about working closely with the management team and our partners from Cinven and Permira in supporting Allegro’s further growth.”
Naspers said it will have to wait as “The transaction is subject to antitrust clearance. Until then, it is business as usual at Allegro and the team remains focused on delivering the best ecommerce experience to its customers”.
The company also disclosed major actors in the deal process. Naspers said it was advised by Morgan Stanley (financial advisor), Allen & Overy (legal) and Deloitte (accounting and tax), while Cinven, Permira and Mid Europa consortium was advised by Goldman Sachs International (lead financial advisor), Macquarie Capital (financial), Clifford Chance (legal), McKinsey (commercial) and EY (accounting and tax).
Naspers still has close to 44% in Konga and majority stake in OLX, a classified site present in over 50 countries. Naspers disclosed that it has invested in, acquired or built, including Allegro, Avito, Brainly, Codecademy, eMAG, Flipkart, letgo, Media24, Movile, MultiChoice, OLX, PayU, ShowMax, SimilarWeb, Twiggle, and Udemy.
Naspers early investment in Tencent, the biggest Internet company in China is worth over USD60 billion.