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Pennington and Crookall sold Slando to Naspers’ investment arm, commonly known as MIH (but also known as Myriad Internet Holdings). Together with the founder’s share, Naspers will also take over eBay’s 20% stake in the company. This means Naspers has 100% control of the company.
According to Naspers-owned financial site Fin24, Slando has 11-million users in eastern Europe and Russia, with posts ranging from property rentals and sales to dating and jobs.
“It does not only own with Slando.com.ua one of the largest free classified websites, but also the auction portal aukro.ua and parts of emarket.ua and ria.ua,” says the company.
Naspers has not given any indication of how much it paid for Slando. With head offices in London, Slando apparently employs only 15 people.
According to South African financial paper Business Day, Naspers was taken by surprise by Pennington and Crookall’s decision to release a statement on the deal.
This is not the first time Naspers has ventured into eastern Europe either. In October 2007, the $18-billion media giant bought out Gadu-Gadu, a listed Polish instant messaging business with an estimated 8-million registered accounts (of a population of 38-million).
Shortly after this, Naspers acquired Tradus (formerly QXL and listed on the London Stock Exchange), which provides an online auction platform and internet portals in Eastern Europe. The company owns Allegro.pl, which is the leading online auction site in Poland.
The South African company has seldom shied away from making offshore acquisitions.
One of its most significant acquisitions was the 46.5% stake it acquired in Tencent Holdings limited in 2001. The Chinese company is the operator of Tencent QQ. With an estimated 702-million active users, QQ makes up the world’s largest online community.
Naspers also has a 32% interest in Mail.ru, Russian operator of Mail.ru Agent, an instant messaging service for desktop PCs and mobiles.
In November 2010, Naspers bought a nearly 30% percent stake in Russian investment firm Digital Sky Technologies (DST). This indirectly gave it stakes in web giants like Facebook, Groupon and Zynga.
Three months prior to the deal, Tencent also made an investment DST to the tune of US$300-million.
The company has a number of other investments in web and mobile companies from emerging markets
It also has operations in Sub-Saharan Africa, Greece, Cyprus, the Netherlands, the United States, Thailand, Brazil, Poland, Ukraine, Russia,India, Turkey and China.
Naspers recently sold its stake on South African instant messaging platform MXit for around ZAR 500-million.