South Africa based internet giant Naspers paid around USD 80 million for the controlling stake in Romanian online retailer eMag earlier in October. In its most recent financial report, Naspers has announced spending USD 120 million investing in eMag and Dubai based Middle Eastern online shopping firm Souq Group last month. Commentators estimate a USD 40 million price tag for the minority stake in Souq, putting the value of the investment in the Romanian online retailer at about the USD 80 million mark.
The October acquisitions were part of a wider push in e-commerce in emerging markets for Naspers. The company has spent 4.5 billion South African Rand (around USD 500 million) on e-commerce acquisitions so far this year. “The group continues to grow organically, with an increasing focus on e-commerce,” said Naspers chairman Ton Vosloo.
The Naspers Group has announced a 61 percent increase in revenues from its e-commerce segment, but profits have been down due to investments in the sector. Earlier in the year, Naspers bought an 80 percent stake in Netretail, another e-commerce firm operating in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia with annual sales are over USD 200 million.
Naspers, with a turnover of USD 5.3 billion in its latest financial year, also owns PayU Romania, online platforms autovit.ro, mercador.ro, compari.ro and is a shareholder in Fashion Days.
eMAG was launched 11 years ago, “On a non-existent market and adapting a trade model which seemed taken from the movies for Romania. Without clear plans and without knowing where we were heading,” said Radu Apostolescu, co-founder of eMAG. When Naspers entered the shareholder structure of eMag, shareholders Iulian Stanciu and Radu Apostolescu retained minority share packages, and another shareholder, Sebastian Ghita, made an exit. eMag posted a turnover of EUR 145 million in 2011, making it the largest online retailer in Romania.
(photo source: eMag)