CMS has advised REA Group, a multinational digital advertising business specialising in property, on the auction sale of its European real estate advertising websites to Oakley Capital (as part of a management buy-out) for an enterprise value of EUR 132.6 million (AUD 189.7 million) on a cash and debt free basis.
The two core websites subject to the sale were Italian casa.it and Luxembourg-based atHome.lu, also serving Benelux and France through local portals. Established in 1996, Casa.it is the number two player in the online real estate advertising market in Italy, while since 2001, atHome.lu has established a market leading position in the online real estate advertising market in Luxembourg, with over 90% coverage of real estate agents.
REA Group and News Corp own Move, Inc., operator of realtor.com (with 20% and 80% stakes respectively) in the United States and REA Group also owns iProperty, operator of leading digital property platforms in South East Asia.
The CMS team advising REA Group was led by corporate partner Jonathan Woolf and included corporate senior associate Valentina Santambrogio and lawyer Ramez Krishnan, intellectual property senior associate Tom Reid and various other lawyers from CMS London, CMS Italy (Paolo Scarduelli and Lorenzo Bocedi) and CMS Luxembourg (Julien Leclère and Sylvain Elias).
The transaction is expected to complete in Q1 2017.