Schibsted Media Group has placed a conditional offer to acquire the Swedish online real estate vertical Hemnet. The offer is for the entire company, which is owned by Swedbank Fastighetsbyrå (34 %) (“Fastighetsbyrån”), Mäklarsamfundet (25 %), Fastighetsmäklarförbundet FMF (25 %) (“FMF”) and Svensk Fastighetsförmedling (16 %). The offer is part of Schibsted’s long term strategy to modernize the market for online real estate advertisements in close cooperation with Swedish realtors.
Fastighetsbyrån and Svensk Fastighetsförmedling have accepted the offer, which gives Schibsted 50% of shares in Hemnet. The offer has been communicated to the other owners. The offer is conditional on Schibsted acquiring 100 percent of shares in the company and approval of the acquisition by the Swedish Competition Authority. The offer values Hemnet at SEK 1,500 million (EV) on a 100 percent basis.
Schibsted will finance the acquisition through existing debt facilities. There are currently no plans to issue new equity.
Hemnet is a well-run company with a very strong market position of close to 100 percent of homes for sale in Sweden, which strengthens and complements Schibsted’s online classified assets in the country. Schibsted has extensive expertise in developing online classified services and digital media, and will be a stable forward-looking owner. Presently, Schibsted has a strong position in real estate verticals in Norway, France, Spain and Austria. Schibsted will be a neutral owner without pre-existing commitments to independent realtors, and will manage and develop Hemnet without special interests in cooperation with the entire realtor industry. Hemnet introduced listing fees from 1 July 2013, and had revenues of SEK 119 million with an EBITDA of SEK 26 million in 2013. Revenues in 2014 were SEK 162 million with an EBITDA of SEK 34 million. The company has strong revenue growth as a result of only 6 months of listing fees in 2013. Hemnet invoice all real estate sellers directly and the sum on the invoice is split 50/50 between Hemnet and the realtors.
An acquisition of Hemnet will amplify Blocket’s successful entry into the online classifieds real estate market which started with the launch of Blocket Bostad in 2011.
“Blocket Bostad has been strategically important to us. We have gotten to know the realtor industry, built valuable relationships with realtors and developed a very good real estate vertical. I am proud of what the team in Blocket Bostad has achieved in such a short time period. At the same time, we acknowledge that Hemnet has a particularly strong position in the Swedish market,” says Rolv Erik Ryssdal, CEO Schibsted Media Group.