On 20 February Schibsted and SPIR Communications have entered into an agreement to merge parts of the French operations of Schibsted International Classifieds (former Trader Classified Media) with the French online car portal Caradisiac owned by SPIR. Closing of the agreement is dependent upon the approval of French competition authorities.
The merged entity will be owned 50% by Schibsted and 50% by SPIR.
The operations of Schibsted International Classifieds that will be included in the merger are La Centrale, a leading brand within car classified ads both offline and online, Les Annonces du Bateau, the leading brand within boat classified ads both offline and online, and the insurance broker Garantie System. Caradisiac is the largest online car portal (editorial contents, community, classified) in France, when measured in unique monthly visitors. It has no offline positions. The merged companies will take the leading position within classified ads and information sites related to cars in France.
In 2006, the combined entity had pro forma revenues of EUR 42.0 million and operating profit (EBITDA) of EUR 10.7 million. Out of this, Caradisiac had revenues of EUR 5.7 million and operating profit (EBITDA) of EUR 1.6 million. There are synergies expected within sales of both classified ads and brand advertising online. The market for online display ads in France grew by 48% in 2006, according to TNS Media Intelligence.
There will be no material accounting effects for Schibsted following the transaction.
CFO Trond Berger, tel.: +47 91 68 66 95
EVP Schibsted International Sverre Munck tel.: +47 91 68 66 99
Oslo, 20 February, 2007