Antony Catalano

Former Domain CEO Antony Catalano

Australia-based ANZ Bank has acquired a minority stake in View Media Group (VMG), the operator of RealEstateView.com.au — the No. 3 property marketplace in Australia — for around A$50 million ($34.7 million U.S.).

As part of the deal, ANZ will establish an “exclusive financial services partnership on key products” and get a seat on VMG’s board, the bank said in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX).

VMG, which was established by Alex Waislitz and former Domain boss Antony Catalano, also operates real estate marketing agency The Tomorrow Agency, utilities comparison service Beevo and regional publishing group Australian Community Media (ACM).

“This is a clear endorsement of the VMG business and the strategy we have set ourselves to disrupt the real estate transaction market,” Catalano told website Mumbrella.

“ANZ has demonstrated that it is a forward-thinking bank and has a clear plan to invest in emerging and disruptive businesses. I’m personally very excited to have their backing and can’t wait to deliver on our plans … [to] generate a steady stream of financial services customers from across the VMG property ecosystem.”

RealEstateView, which is helmed by former REA Group executive Toby Balazs, was established in 2001 with the backing of various state-based industry associations. Catalano and Waislitz took a 26% stake in RealEstateView in 2020, which they increased to 72% last year. This loosened the industry’s grip on VMG, enabling it to pursue more commercial opportunities.

Last year, local media reported that VMG might go public on the ASX, but such a move has yet to materialize.

Although it’s a distant third to market leaders REA Group-owned RealEstate.com.au and Domain — monthly internet traffic to RealEstateView is around 1.3 million visits, compared with 54 million for RealEstate.com.au and 17 million for Domain — the marketplace is central to Catalano and Waislitz’s plan to create a “digital real estate superstore.”

“Through RealEstateView, we’ll guide consumers through the whole property lifecycle journey and connect them at every touchpoint,” Waislitz told Mumbrella.

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