Great Hill Partners has sold its 91% stake in Brazilian ecommerce company BuscaPé.com Inc. to Naspers Ltd. (LSE: NPSN) for US$374 million. Great Hill acquired its stake in December 2005.
Great Hill Partners (“Great Hill”) today announced the sale of 91% of the shares in Latin American e-commerce group BuscaPé.com Inc. (“BuscaPé”) to Naspers Limited (“Naspers”) (JSE: NPN, LSE: NPSN), reflecting an enterprise value of US$374 million.
Headquartered in São Paulo, Brazil and founded in 1998, BuscaPé is a leading provider of e-commerce services in Latin America and one of the region’s best-known Internet brands. BuscaPé’s portfolio of services includes Latin America’s most popular comparison shopping network for new and used goods, free classifieds, lead generation, electronic payments, e-commerce anti-fraud solutions and market research.
Naspers is a multinational media company with principal operations in electronic and print media. The group holds interests in leading Internet and media properties in China, Russia, Eastern Europe and Brazil, including Tencent Holdings, Mail.ru, Allegro and Abril.
In December 2005, Great Hill acquired a majority interest in BuscaPé, the leading online comparison shopping website in Brazil, with BuscaPé’s founders and management team retaining an ownership position in the company. In May 2006, Great Hill helped BuscaPé consolidate its leadership position by providing additional financing for its merger with Bondfaro, a comparison shopping competitor. Subsequently BuscaPé extended its comparison shopping leadership across Latin America by introducing local comparison shopping sites in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Mexico.
Capitalizing on its large consumer base and extensive merchant relationships, BuscaPé has leveraged both internal development efforts and strategic acquisitions to enter additional segments of the e-commerce value chain. Today, BuscaPé’s portfolio of services includes, among others, QueBarato, the leading free-classifieds network in Latin America; Lomadee, an affiliate advertising network; Pagamento Digital, a provider of electronic payments solutions acquired in 2008; and eBit, an e-commerce research business acquired in 2007.
Michael Kumin, a partner at Great Hill, commented, “During the course of our investment, BuscaPé has cemented its strong position in Latin America through rapid organic growth, innovative new product launches and strategic acquisitions. On behalf of Great Hill, I want to thank Romero Rodrigues, his co-founders and the entire BuscaPé management team for their dedication and hard work in building such a tremendous company. I am confident that, in conjunction with Naspers, they will continue to extend their market leadership.
BuscaPé CEO Romero Rodrigues commented, “We are grateful for Great Hill’s support over the past four years as we leveraged our well-known comparison shopping business and leading brands to place BuscaPé at the forefront of the Latin American e-commerce industry. Great Hill’s extensive experience in e-commerce and Internet media helped us move quickly and aggressively to consolidate our market position. Given the further ability to now tap into Naspers’ global footprint and expertise, I am excited to lead BuscaPé into its next phase of growth.”
Antoine Roux, CEO of Naspers’ Internet Operations, commented that “BuscaPé gives us a fast-growing business in line with our e-commerce focus. It’s a diversified Internet platform: a whole spectrum of business models within the e-commerce value chain across core Latin American markets.”
Great Hill Partners was advised by Citi on the transaction.
About Great Hill Partners
Great Hill Partners is a private equity firm with $2.7 billion under management. Great Hill Partners seeks to partner with middle-market companies operating in high growth sectors in the media/communications, Internet, business services, consumer services, financial technology, healthcare technology, software, and transaction processing sectors. Great Hill Partners closed its $1.1 billion fourth fund in February 2009. For more information, please visit www.greathillpartners.com.