The acquisition strengthens Alma Media’s position in the Finnish marketplace business, particularly among automotive and mobility services. In addition, the move opens new business opportunities, including rental and leasing operations, Alma Media said in a news release announcing the transaction.
Netttix operates several leading classified sites in Finland, including No. 1 verticals for autos (Nettiauto.com), motorcycles (NettiMoto.com) and boats (NettiVene.com), along with horizontals and real estate platforms. Nettix also owns the OmaNettix mobility service, Konepörssi, a trade publication publication for the machine and transport sector, and news site Ampparit.
In FY2020, Nettix had revenue of €22.5 million ($26.8 million U.S.), EBITDA of €11.2 million ($13.4 million U.S.), and operating profit of €10 million ($11.9 million U.S.). Nettix’s marketplaces generated about 81% of the company’s revenue last year.
Nettix will be reported as part of the Alma Consumer business segment, starting from Q2 of FY2021. Alma Media estimates that the acquisition will create annual synergies of €1.5 million ($1.8 million U.S.) by 2022, mainly related to advertising sales, support functions, premises, IT systems and IT development.
As a result of the acquisition, a total of 39 Nettix’s employees (converted to full-time employees) will transfer to Alma Media.
Alma Media already owns several leading classified sites in Finland, including real estate vertical Etuovi.com and rental site Vuokraovi.com, the automotive marketplace Autotalli.com, and jobs site Monster.fi. The company has also a strong portfolio of recruitment sites outside of Finland, including Jobs.cz, Prace.cz, CV Online, Profesia.sk, MojPosao.net and MojPosao.ba.
Alma Media focuses on digital services and publishing. The company’s headquarters is in Finland, but it also operates in other Nordic countries, the Baltics, and Central Europe. It’s listed on the Helsinki Stock Exchange.
Rivalry with Schibsted
With the transaction with Otava Group, Alma Media has also sent a message to Schibsted that it is going to defend its leading position in Finland. Following the acquisition of Oikotie last year, Schibsted has openly spoken that it wants to build its dominance in Finland the way it enjoys in other Nordic countries.
Alma Media’s move hinders Schibsted’s plans, particularly in the auto category where Alma Media is now taking a lead thanks to Nettix’s NettiAuto.com, NettiMoto.com, and its Autotalli.com. It also strengthens its portfolio in real estates (NettiVaraosa.com) and general classifieds (NettiMarkkina.com) categories. Adittionally, Omanetix, allowing for online vehicle trading, may prove invaluable in speeding up Alma Media’s marketplaces transition into a more transactional model.
The acquisition of Nettix, in practice, has left only Alma Media and Schibsted in the auto, real estate, and general classifieds categories in Finland. In the recruiting segment, there is also Duunitori.fi, the No. 1 Finish recruitment site by traffic. The company may potentially become the next acquisition target for Alma Media and Schibsted.