Divesting of eCommerce marketplaces follows regulator concerns over eBay’s £6.5bn sale of eBay Classified Group
Gumtree UK and Motors.co.uk have been sold to a US-German consortium in a deal which will allow the sale of Gumtree’s parent business.
In February, the Competition and Markets Authority raised concerns over eBay’s proposed sale of eBay Classified Group, parent company of Gumtree, to Adevinta, owner of Austrian resale app Shpock.
A Phase 1 investigation found the £6.5 billion deal could lead to higher prices and less choice for consumers, with Facebook Marketplace potentially left as its only competitor.
Now Austria’s Adevinta, parent company of online classified sales platform Shpock, has sold Gumtree UK and Motors.co.uk to O3 Industries, a New York-based family investment fund, and Novum Capital, a private equity firm based out of Frankfurt.
In the summer it divested Shpock, another remedy required by the CMA, to Russmedia Equity Partners.
“There was a high level of interest throughout the sale process, reflecting the quality of the Gumtree UK business and management team,” said Rolv Erik Ryssdal, Adevinta CEO.
“We are confident that both O3 and Novum Capital are well placed to continue growing Gumtree UK and Motors.co.uk as they focus on providing leading classifieds advertising services to the UK market.
“The acquisition of eCG was a significant milestone for Adevinta, and we remain focused on successfully integrating the two businesses.
“The combination provides us the scale, expertise and talent to build innovative, world-class products that create value for all of our stakeholders.”
Daniel Ozen, president of O3 Industries, said: “We are excited to have reached this agreement to acquire Gumtree UK and Motors.co.uk, an iconic general classifieds as well as automotive marketplace.
“O3 Industries is a trusted partner for businesses that have both a demonstrated record of innovation and customer service and, at the same time, clear opportunities for continued growth.
“That is precisely what we see in Gumtree UK and Motors.co.uk. We look forward to working with its talented and experienced team and welcoming its associates into the O3 family.”
Felix Homann, Partner of Novum Capital, added: “Gumtree UK’s value proposition is more vital than ever, enabling consumers to participate more in the circular economy by buying and selling second-hand.
“Likewise, Motors.co.uk supports car dealers in satisfying the growing demand from consumers for a great online car buying experience. We are excited to put our expertise and passion to work in order to seize the opportunities this presents.”