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Online Marketplace Trade Me May Sell for $1.7 Billion

Trade Me

Trade MeOnline marketplace Trade Me has received a takeover offer with a bid of $1.7 billion, according to the Aim Group. The company is the number one auction site and marketplace in New Zealand, and UK-based private equity firm Apax Partners made the bid of $2.5 billion NZD (New Zealand currency). According to Trade Me’s website, it has nearly 4.5 million members and 7.4 million live listings.

Stuff.co.nz has a comprehensive article about Trade Me and the proposed deal. It said there’s only a 50% chance of the deal taking place, citing a Morningstar’s forecast.

Be sure to look at Stuff.co.nz’s reporting and analysis. It says Trade Me is already a high-margin business, so cutting costs may not make sense, and it wasn’t sure how raising fees would go over among sellers.

Trade Me was founded by Sam Morgan, aged 22 in 1999 – see the timeline Stuff put together of Trade Me’s history.

The New Zealand Herald offers additional insight into the company in an article about Trade Me’s Chief Financial Officer Caroline Rawlinson, who has been at that role since August 2016. She headed a project called “Trade Me in 10 years” to review how the company was positioned to combat the effect of global tech giants.

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The publication quoted Rawlinson: “We went through a strategic review with our board looking at large global trends that have the potential to disrupt our business and model — everything from what the Google’s, Facebook’s and Amazon’s of the world are doing and how they could impact here.”

And, it wrote, “Trade Me is moving to cloud-based technologies such as image recognition in its apps to streamline the listing process and using artificial intelligence in its property business to produce estimates of home values.”

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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