Schibsted announced in May 2015 an offer to acquire the largest online classifieds site for real estate in Sweden, Hemnet. An agreement with current owners to acquire the company was reached in December 2015. During 2016, the agreement has been under scrutiny by The Swedish Competition Authority (SCA).
Schibsted announced 13 May 2016 that the SCA took a negative view to the transaction in its current form. Since then, Schibsted has been in dialogue with the SCA seeking to find appropriate remedies that would address the concerns identified by the authority. A set of commercially acceptable remedies has been offered on the background of these talks. It is our view that the SCA’s initial concerns have been alleviated as a result of these remedies and that Schibsted would be the best owner of Hemnet both from the perspective of Swedish consumers and from the realtors’ viewpoint.
However, the SCA has informed Schibsted that the authority will not clear the transaction in its current form. Schibsted has on this background concluded that the acquisition process will be terminated.
Schibsted still considers the Swedish real estate market to be attractive, and will now consider other alternatives for its presence in the market.
Schibsted has leading online classifieds traffic positions in 20 countries. To establish stronger positions in the verticals is considered a good way of creating additional value in many of these markets. An active approach to M&A will continue to be an essential part of this strategy.
Media: Raoul Grünthal, EVP Sweden, mobile +46 70 877 4500
Investors/analysts: Trond Berger, EVP CFO, mobile +47 916 86 695 or Jo Christian Steigedal, VP Head of IR, mobile +47 415 08 733
Oslo, 7 July 2016
Jo Christian Steigedal
Head of IR