The Board of directors of Schibsted ASA has resolved to initiate a process to reorganize the company into two growth-oriented companies: Schibsted and Marketplace International (MPI). We believe this decision will bring more value to our users, customers, employees and shareholders over the long term.
With this move we are creating two new growth companies which will pursue independent agendas to further increase our speed, focus and ability to scale. Our Marketplaces operations outside of the Nordics will be spun off and established as an independent, listed company (called Marketplace International for now). Schibsted will continue to be a company of leading digital consumer brands with footprints in the Nordics, comprising our media and growth companies in Norway and Sweden as well as Finn, Blocket, and Tori.
We will spin off MPI as a stand-alone company and start trading shares with an IPO in 2019. Schibsted will retain majority ownership in MPI at the time of the listing, and intends to remain a long term active owner of MPI.
The proposed transaction represents an important strategic step forward for Schibsted, as it allows the two new entities to set out their best strategic courses individually. Schibsted will optimize its value creation for shareholders, society, customers and employees by continuing to invest in digital consumer services on the one hand and active participation in the development of the international online classifieds industry on the other. Schibsted has a history of utilizing new technology, creating new services, developing new markets with potential for significant value creation and adapting to rapidly changing markets. These values will remain at the core of both Schibsted and MPI.
Although Schibsted plans to retain a significant ownership position in MPI, the new, separately listed company will have a simplified governance structure with no ownership or voting limitations. Initially MPI will inherit Schibsted ASA’s structure with A- and B-shares carrying different voting. However, Schibsted as a majority owner will support an amalgamation into only one share class in due course. The new company will be well equipped to play an active role in any structural development of the online classifieds industry.
Schibsted ASA (SCHA/SCHB) – Schibsted to spin off and IPO international online classifieds
See the presentation here.