eBay Acquires Leading Classifieds Companies in Denmark

By: Richard Brewer-Hay

eBay Inc. has acquired Den Bla Avis and Bilbasen, two leading online classifieds sites in Denmark, for approximately $390 million USD. The acquisition marks eBay’s entry into the Danish e-commerce market, provides an opportunity to create a national classifieds business there, and further strengthens eBay’s world-leading portfolio of online classifieds sites.

Founded as printed classified advertising circulars, Den Bla Avis and Bilbasen have successfully made the transition to fast-growing, profitable online businesses while maintaining the publication of its circulars. Den Bla Avis and Bilbasen have offices in Aarhus and Copenhagen, Denmark.

Den Bla Avis operates dba.dk, an online classifieds site in Denmark and is one of the leading Internet properties in the country. It currently draws approximately 25 percent of the Danish population with approximately 120 million page views per month. Bilbasen, bilbasen.dk, is the leading vehicle classifieds site in Denmark and has approximately 66 million page views per month.

“With more than 25 years of classifieds success in Denmark, Den Bla Avis and BilBasen are household names with Danish consumers,” said Jacob Aqraou, general manager, eBay global classifieds business unit. “We’re very excited to welcome Den Bla Avis, BilBasen and all their employees to the eBay global classifieds portfolio.”

A growing global portfolio

Global Classifieds is the fastest-growing business unit within eBay Inc. and includes five major brands: Kijiji, Gumtree, Marktplaats, LoQUo and mobile.de. With the acquisition of Den Bla Avis and BilBasen, eBay Classifieds now has a presence in more than 20 countries and 1,000 cities.

According to research and consulting firm Classifieds Intelligence, the worldwide classified ads industry tops $100 billion in all forms. With the continued migration of print classifieds to online, eBay is looking to capitalize on the market dynamics with an aggressive growth strategy for its global classifieds portfolio.

Denmark is a highly-valued classifieds market, making it an attractive country in which to grow eBay’s classifieds business and serve as a platform to expand into the rest of Scandinavia. For Q2 08, eBay’s global classifieds business averaged 81 million unique visitors per month, representing an increase of 121 percent year over year.

Notable eBay Inc. Global Classifieds operating milestones

Launches and Acquisitions:
• November 2004: Acquired Marktplaats.
• March 2005: Launched Kijiji internationally.
• May 2005: Acquired Gumtree and LoQUo.
• July 2007: Launched Kijiji in U.S.

Consolidated Site Metrics:
• August 2005: 2.5 million total live ads.
• September 2008: 16.1 million total live ads.
• October 2005: 1.5 billion monthly page views.
• September 2008: 4.6 billion monthly page views.
• After one year, Kijiji U.S. has more than 350,000 total live ads, close to 83 million monthly page views and nearly 5 millions unique visitors per month.

For more information regarding this particular acquisition, and eBay’s Global Classifieds overview in general, please visit the all-new eBay Ink News page at http://blog.ebay.com/news.

Cheers,
RBH