Trader Classified Media has signed an agreement to acquire the largest shareholding in SouFun Holdings Limited (Soufun.com), one of China's leading real estate Internet businesses.
The transaction is potentially the largest investment undertaken by Trader in its 18-year acquisition history.
Soufun.com currently has operations in 29 of China's largest cities. SouFun focuses exclusively on providing information and services relating to China's growing real estate sector. The company operates the highest ranked web site that focuses exclusively on real estate-related classified advertising and services in China.
SouFun also has the largest database of online real estate listings for new and secondary real estate markets as well as rental properties in China, with more than 400,000 unique properties listed. SouFun has more than 600 employees throughout China and is headquartered in Beijing. SouFun intends to have a presence in over 40 cities by the end of 2005 and generated revenues of approximately US$10 million in 2004.
The agreement provides for Trader to take an initial 15% stake for US$22.5 million, with a series of call options over the next 2 years whereby Trader will be able to increase its stake to between 45% and 100% according to fixed prices or ratios depending on the long term capital financing options of SouFun.
The series of call options at fixed prices would require an additional investment of approximately US$170 million, for a total investment of approximately US$200 million. The closing of the transaction is subject to Trader's satisfactory completion of due diligence, board approval and other standard closing conditions.
Trader Classified Media is a leader in classified advertising, providing services and solutions to both professional and individual buyers and sellers through multiple media channels including Internet, print, telephone, SMS and direct mail. The Company produces 578 print titles, with 10 million readers per week, and hosts 56 websites, with 15 million unique monthly visitors, in 22 countries.