Australian automotive online classifieds company Carsales.com.au has today announced its acquisition of a controlling stake in Chilean automotive classifieds platform Chileautos.
The company’s 83 percent stake was acquired for US$15 million (approximately AUD$19.86 million) from existing cash reserves and debt facilities, with Carsales retaining an option to purchase the remaining 17 percent stake at any time over the next four years.
With the carsales network operating across the Asia Pacific and interests in related businesses in countries including Brazil and Mexico, Paul Barlow, carsales’ Director International, said Chileautos represented an opportunity to continue the company’s growth in Latin American growth.
“Chile is the strongest LatAm economy as measured by GDP per capita and with Chileautos being the clear number one in its market there is significant upside that will come from utilising Carsales’ expertise, experience and technology,” Barlow said.
“Importantly, this investment increases our global footprint and capitalises on the work we have begun in Mexico rolling out Spanish language technology and now starts to deliver us economies of scale in Latin America. Our Latin American investments are still at an early stage, but Carsales is excited by the medium and longer term opportunity.”
CEO Greg Roebuck added that the acquisition is a “prime strategic opportunity to take another Spanish speaking business to the next level.
“We view Latin America as an extremely attractive market for carsales and Chileautos is a great addition to our portfolio of international assets, providing another significant stepping stone for growth. Our aim is to be a compelling number one in all our markets around the world, not just an interesting player.”
Acquisitions of foreign classifieds platforms by Australian companies are seemingly all the rage recently, with the Carsales deal following the acquisition of Tsikot, a digital car sales marketplace and forum based in the Philippines, by Melbourne company Now Web Solutions last week.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed, however an unsuccessful bid for Tsikot was reportedly made in 2011 by for $3 million.
Headquartered in Singapore but operating from Melbourne, Now Web Solutions will relaunch Tsikot’s classifieds platform and forum. According to Deal Street Asia, the acquisition will see the merging of Tsikot and CarsNow, a platform Now Web Solutions cofounder Renato Dayan launched in the Philippines last year.
Image: Greg Roebuck.