Munich-based media group ProSiebenSat.1 moved into the league of Germany’s biggest classifieds players (on revenue) when it acquired a majority stake (50 percent plus one share) in the Hamburg-based ParshipElite Group, operator of leading dating sites Parship and ElitePartner.
The deal valued ParshipElite at €300 million ($336 million U.S.). ProSiebenSat.1 paid €200 million for the stake. Of that amount, €100 million was paid in cash and €100 million went towards refinancing existing debt.
ParshipElite operates in 13 countries, with a focus on Germany, Switzerland and Austria. It employs 230 people in Hamburg.
ParshipElite hasn’t released revenue information to date, but it can safely be assumed that its addition to ProSiebenSat.1’s portfolio of classifieds sites brought the latter into the league of Axel Springer and the Scout24 Group.
Also included in the ProSiebenSat.1 classifieds portfolio are a real estate search engine on price-comparison platform Verivox (here), two used-auto search engines – one on Verivox (here) and 12Gebrauchtwagen.de (here) – recommerce site WirKaufens.de, a number of auto-related sites under the umbrella brand 12AutoGroup (here is the portfolio) operating in Germany and Austria, and seed investments in start-ups 123Makler and Talentry, an online estate agent and employee-referral app respectively.
Included in the 12AutoGroup portfolio is Autoplenum.de, an auto-review site. The pearl in the e-commerce portfolio of ProSiebenSat.1 was (until the acquisition of ParshipElite) a long list of travel-related sites bundled under the umbrella brand 7Travel (here).
Verivox is a price comparison site active in Germany and Switzerland, which is slowly widening its focus. Its most recent addition: price comparison for the travel industry.
The classifieds and e-commerce portfolios show clearly why ProSiebenSat.1 is reportedly considering to buy parts of Unister Group – it is (or was?) also relatively strong in travel and autos.
ProSiebenSat.1 listed in March 2016. So, we’ll be getting a deeper insight into ParshipElite’s revenue performance from upcoming quarterly financial reports.
In H1 of FY2016 ProSiebenSat.1 generated revenue of €1.7 billion ($2 billion U.S.) of which €1.3 billion in Germany. The bulk of its revenue comes from television advertising.
ProSiebenSat.1 acquired ParshipElite from Oakley Capital Private Equity and the existing management, which together now hold a minority interest of just below 50 percent.
ProSiebenSat.1 reported financial results for H1 of FY2016 in August. At the time the company said e-commerce was its fastest-growing division, and that was why the company will continue to invest in new e-commerce platforms.