For the second time this year, a giant company has purchased an online shopping destination for $3.3 billion.
Media and internet holding company Naspers is selling Allegro, the Polish eBay rival, to Permira consortium for $3.3 billion, after Walmart purchased Jet.com for the same price tag just this summer. Other than Permira, the consortium is made up of private equity firms Cinven and Mid Europa.
It wasn’t a quick or quiet grab for the buyers, as it was reported that eBay, Alibaba, and CVC were also interested suitors for the Polish company.
In Allegro’s 17-year history, TechCrunch reports, it has become “one of the most popular online shopping destinations in Poland, touting over 20 million registered users. Its marketplace, much like eBay’s, allows both individuals and companies to sell to consumers. The company reports it sells 850,000 items per day, and employs 1,275 people across five offices in Poznań, Warszawa, Toruń, Wrocław and Kraków.”
The South Africa-based Naspers announced the deal in a release on Friday, and CEO Bob van Dijk 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.”
After expressing his pride in Allegro’s team and its success, he noted that the decision to sell the shopping brand is “consistent with our strategy to find and realise value for our shareholders.”
As for the buyers, Cinven partner David Barker said in the release that Allegro 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.”
The sale comes while the market for companies like Allegro is growing; surely one of the reasons it was an attractive buy for the private equity group. Reuters reported over the summer that the Polish e-commerce market is worth more than $8 billion USD, and is expected to double in value by 2020. As Reuters noted, this is partially tied to the Polish government’s plans to avoid levying online shopping in a new retail tax.
While the deal is still subject to antitrust clearance before money changes hands, the release said until then, “it is business as usual at Allegro and the team remains focused on delivering the best e-commerce experience to its customers.”