Axel Springer in talks to buy Israel’s Zap: Reuters

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Private equity firm Apax Partners is in talks to sell Israeli shopping comparison website Zap to German publishing firm Axel Springer (SPRGn.DE) for up to 500 million shekels ($144 million), a source close to the matter said, confirming media reports

Apax and Axel Springer declined to comment on Wednesday.

The source said Apax put Zap up for sale two weeks ago and asked for bids of between 450 million and 500 million shekels and that Apax was reviewing offers from buyers.

In addition to Axel Springer, the KKR (KKR.N) private equity fund, Bain Capital, Blackstone and ABRI Partners are also interested in buying Zap, which Apax bought in 2015 for 150 million shekels, the source said.

Israeli news websites said the Zap Group operates 22 websites, encompassing 450,000 businesses. Each month there are 16 million visits to Zap’s website with users seeking information for their purchasing decisions, according to the Globes financial news website.

Axel Springer in 2014 bought Israeli classified ads website Yad2 for 806 million shekels.