Russmedia, the Austria-based media company, is on course to acquire marketplace app Shpock from Adevinta, the Oslo-based marketplace operator.
Adevinta had proposed Russmedia as a buyer of Shpock to the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in order to appease the regulator and push on with its acquisition of EBay Classifieds Group assets this year.
In turn, the CMA announced today that it “considers Russmedia to be a suitable purchaser of Shpock and that Adevinta’s proposed undertakings, which also includes the divestment of Gumtree U.K. and Motors.co.uk, are appropriate to remedy its competition concerns. The CMA has provisionally concluded that the proposed undertakings will be effective and that it has no concerns about their implementation.”
However, “acceptance of the proposed undertakings, including Russmedia’s acquisition of Shpock, remain subject to a two-week public consultation process starting today and final approvals by the CMA. The sale of Shpock would be expected to close shortly after receipt of these approvals.”
The AIM Group projected Russmedia as a potential buyer for Shpock back in early March. The deal makes sense for the company, which runs several marketplace businesses already. Some factors behind the likely desire to acquire Shpock include:
- Russmedia and Shpock are both Austria-based companies. The businesses likely know each other well already, and Russmedia believes there is a good cultural and strategic fit.
- Russmedia, which has its roots in a regional media company in the western state Vorarlberg of Austria, has been a digital pioneer and has vast experience in internationalization. It has built businesses and operations in several Eastern European countries, including digital marketplaces and tech-service providers, and therefore was likely looking at any innovative marketplaces within Europe that could be for sale.
- Shpock still has a business in Germany and Austria, where Russmedia is clearly active. Russmedia also runs multiple marketplaces, which could provide synergies with Shpock. These include horizontal Quoka.de in Germany, automotive vertical LaendleAuto.at, real estate vertical LaendleImmo.at, horizontal LaendleAnzeiger.at and many more marketplaces.
- In the U.K., where Shpock has focused the majority of its business activities in recent years, Russmedia owns YardLink, a construction rental marketplace. There could be synergies here with Shpock, which has gradually pivoted into a transactions-led business model.
- Russmedia has an investment arm, Russmedia Equity Partners, which is actually the official buyer of Shpock. This division does not do multi-million investments but is looking for opportunities that have the right size and are innovative — Shpock might just fall into this category. The division recently acquired Jobiqo, a recruitment marketplace service provider that utilizes AI.
Russmedia is presently active in Austria, Germany, Hungary, the U.K., Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and the U.S.