Naspers offloads R2.7bn Czech retailer

JSE-listed global internet and media company Naspers has offloaded a $201 million (R2.7 billion) Czech-based online retailer. By Staff Writer

The South African-based firm sold its shareholding in online retailers in Netretail and Heureka to Czech-based investment firm, Rockaway Capital.

“For Naspers, the transaction forms part of an ongoing strategy to optimise its group structure. Naspers acquired Netretail (a Czech-based online retailer) and eMAG (the Romanian based internet retailer) in 2012, with a plan to merge the two assets and create a leading ecommerce platform across Central and Eastern Europe (CEE),” Meloy Horn, head of Investor Relations at Naspers, said in a statement.

Diverging strategic views prevented the merger from being completed.

Naspers subsequently decided to focus on eMag as its preferred etail platform in the region.

As part of the transaction, Naspers is also selling Heureka, the group’s online price comparison platform in the Czech Republic.

Naspers said its other businesses in the region are unaffected by this disposal.

Last week Naspers announced a $1.2 billion (R16 billion) deal to become the largest shareholder in Avito, an online classifieds platform in Russia.

Naspers is buying shares from existing shareholders to increase its stake from 17.4% to 67.9% on a fully diluted basis.

Naspers initially invested in Avito, Russia’s largest generalist classifieds platform, in 2013.

Since then the company successfully expanded into classifieds verticals and is now also a leading player in five key verticals: General Goods, Auto, Real Estate (including Domofond), Jobs and Services.

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