Schibsted becomes sole owner of Leboncoin.fr
Schibsted and SPIR Communication has reached an agreement where Schibsted acquires the remaining 50% of the shares in LeBoncoin.fr, the market leading online classifieds site in France, from SPIR, and SPIR acquires Schibsted’s 50% of the shares in Car & Boat Media. Car & Boat Media operates Lacentrale.fr and Caradisiac.fr, which are the market leading automotive sites in France. The agreement is subject to approval by competition authorities, and by consultation with the working council in Car & Boat Media.
The agreement values Leboncoin.fr at EUR 400 million on a 100% basis. This implies an EBITDA multiple based on expected earnings in 2010 of approximately 18. In first half 2010 the operating revenues were EUR 16 million, which implies a growth of 122%. The EBITDA margin in first half 2010 was 59% compared to 42% in first half 2009. In 2009 Leboncoin.fr had revenues of EUR 18 million and EBITDA margin of 47%. The revenue growth rate for Leboncoin.fr for the full year 2010 is expected to be approximately 100%.
The agreed value of Car & Boat Media is EUR 120 million on a 100% basis, which implies an EBITDA multiple based on expected earnings in 2010 of approximately 9. Car & Boat Media had a growth rate in first half 2010 of 20%. In 2009, C&B had revenues of EUR 38 million and an EBITDA margin of 29%.
Schibsted and SPIR continue the cooperation within real estate classifieds between Leboncoin.fr and Logic-immo.com. Also, the 50/50 joint venture in 20 Minutes, the most read newspaper in France, continues unchanged.
– To increase our ownership in Leboncoin.fr is of vital strategic value for Schibsted. The company has a strong growth profile combined with operating margins exceeding 50% only four years after it was launched. Leboncoin.fr is among the largest online sites in France, and one of the strongest online classifieds sites in Europe. By taking full control of the company, we strengthen the opportunity not only to develop the site, but also to use the tremendous market position to develop new online business in the exciting French market, Rolv Erik Ryssdal, CEO of Schibsted states.
– It is fundamental for Schibsted to utilize the Group’s joint strengths and capabilities across the 26 countries in which we are present. Having full control over Leboncoin.fr is important in this respect, Rolv Erik Ryssdal says.
Leboncoin.fr is a top 10 site in France, measured by unique visitors per month, and it is top 5 in terms of page views. Leboncoin.fr is the third largest classifieds/auction site in Europe, only trailing Ebay.de and Ebay.co.uk. Leboncoin.fr is around four times larger than Ebay.fr, measured by page views. (Souce for traffic figures: Google AdPlanner July 2010.)
Leboncoin.fr is an online classifieds portal based on the concept of the Swedish success Blocket.se. Schibsted launched Leboncoin.fr, with SPIR as a JV partner, in April 2006. Schibsted has established online sites based on the Blocket concept in 14 markets outside Sweden, and the aim is to continue to grow the business by developing existing markets combined with expanding into new countries.
The transaction is expected to be closed in Q4 2010. The net cash investment for Schibsted is EUR 140 million. Further information regarding Leboncoin.fr purchase price allocation and accounting effects of the acquisition will be given in connection with the Q3 2010 results. Accounting effects as a consequence of the divestment of Car & Boat Media are expected to be limited.