No.1 French horizontal LeBonCoin has reached an agreement to acquire Argus Group, the leading player in digital marketing services to the automotive industry in France, the company said Monday. The transaction is expected to close by the next month-end. The value of the transaction would not be disclosed.
Founded in 1927, Paris-headquartered Argus offers a wide range of services to auto manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and auctioneers. The company was originally established as a trade publication. Over the years, it has built itself as the number one market reference in valuing second-hand cars in France, through the Cote Argus that has a 90% market share. In 2018, the Argus raked in €39.1 million ($43.2 million U.S.) in revenue and operating earnings of €5.4 million ($5.9 million). The group employs approximately 270 employees in Paris, Nantes, Toulouse and Casablanca.
The latest acquisition was the third within a short span of three months. In June, LeBonCoin took over PayCar — a peer-to-peer payment service for second-hand vehicle purchases — and European holiday rental site Locasun for undisclosed sums.
Launched in 2006, LeBonCoin is a subsidiary of Norwegian classified ad company Adevinta. The group was recently spun off from Schibsted and operates digital marketplaces in 16 countries in Europe, Latin America, and North Africa.
In April, Adevinta achieved Norway’s most valuable initial public offering in more than a decade, priced at around $7 billion U.S. The company has publicly said it plans to expand through mergers and acquisitions.