(Adds detail, Ceneo, share price move)
JOHANNESBURG Oct 14 South Africa's Naspers has
sold its Polish e-commerce businesses Allegro and Ceneo to funds
advised by private equity firms Cinven, Permira and Mid Europa
for $3.253 billion, the company said on Friday, giving its
shares a boost.
Naspers acquired online marketplace Allegro in 2008 for $1.5
billion as part of the transaction when it bought auction site
Tradus, it said in a statement, adding that the business had
generated cash of $714 million over the period.
The South African media and e-commerce firm, the largest
company with a primary listing in Africa, said it had used
Allegro to establish other fast-growing businesses in Poland,
such as e-commerce site OLX and payment platform PayU.
Naspers has its roots in 101 years of Afrikaans language
newspaper publishing, but has grown its e-commerce business
rapidly in the last decade, with Tradus one of its first large
foreign investments. The Cape Town-based company also holds
around a third of Chinese Internet firm TenCent Holdings
"From time to time the group exits earlier investments to
realise a return on capital invested, and Allegro is a good
example of this," Naspers said.
Shares in Naspers was up 5.8 percent at 2320 rand by 1429
GMT, compared to a 1.7 percent gain by the JSE's benchmark
Naspers will keep Polish investments OLX, PayU, Otomoto and
Otodom and said its PayU unit will continue to provide payment
processing services to Allegro under a multi-year agreement.
Ceneo, which is sold along with Allegro, is a Polish price
The South African firm said it will use the proceeds to
repay debt, fund the scaling-up of ecommerce businesses, and
finance new acquisitions.
"The transaction is subject to approval by anti-trust
authorities with closing expected before the end of fiscal
2017," Naspers said.
(Reporting by TJ Strydom; Editing by Adrian Croft)