The transaction is still subject to approval by anti-trust authorities and by the South African Reserve Bank.
By buying the shares from existing shareholders and increasing its stake from 17.4% to 67.9% on a fully diluted basis, Naspers becomes the largest shareholder in Avito. It initially invested in the company in 2013. Since then, the Russian company expanded into classifieds verticals and is now also a leading player in five key verticals: General Goods, Auto, Real Estate (including Domofond), Jobs and Services.
With around 35m unique monthly visitors and 8.6bn monthly page views, it is one of the top ten websites by traffic in Russia today. For FY2014, Avito reported revenues of US$76.5m (up 76% YoY) and an EBITDA margin of 50.6%. The company is led by Filip Engelbert, CEO and co-founder.
Founded in 1915 and led by Bob van Dijk, CEO, Naspers is a broad-based multinational internet and media group offering services in more than 130 countries. Its principal operations are in ecommerce (i.e. classifieds, online retail, marketplaces, online comparison shopping, payments and online services), video-entertainment and print media. The group also has minority investments in listed, integrated social-network platforms Tencent (SEHK 0700) and Mail.ru (LSE: MAIL). It is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (NPN.SJ) and has an ADR listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: NPSN).