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Sun 13 Jan 2019 12:00 PM

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Dubai's Dubizzle valued at $400m after Naspers completes acquisition

The South African investor had already owned a 51% controlling stake in the website after buying it in 2013 for $120m

Dubai's Dubizzle valued at $400m after Naspers completes acquisition
Dubizzle said the acquisition will not affect the company’s day to day operations, as it will continue to be run by the local management team independently.

UAE-based online classifieds website dubizzle has been fully acquired by the OLX Group, a subsidiary of South Africa-based investor Naspers, placing it at a value of $400 million, based on external calculations.

The group had bought the remaining 49% stake in dubizzle for $190m in April 2018. It had already owned a 51% controlling stake in the website after buying it in 2013 for $120m.

If dubizzle’s valuation was driven by revenues, its turnover is estimated to stand at about $40m per year. Online marketplace companies are typically valued at 10 times their revenue.

However, it is currently unknown whether the valuation was driven by revenue or if it was a pre-determined valuation at the time of the initial acquisition.

"This step is a testament to the amazing decade dubbizle had in this region. The co-founders also felt that dubizzle is in good hands to move forward to continue its development under OLX Group,” said Barry Judge, general manager at dubizzle UAE.

Dubizzle, which was founded in Dubai in 2005 to allow users to advertise goods or services, currently operates in eight countries across the MENA region including Egypt, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia.

It was founded by J.C. Butler and Sim Whatley, who stepped down from the day to day running of the company in 2013 after selling the majority stake to Naspers.

Dubizzle has since acquired a number of UAE-based startups including Expat Wheels, Wecashanycar, Masterkey and Airlist.

Judge said the acquisition will not affect the company’s day to day operations, as it will continue to be run by the local management team independently.

The acquisition by Naspers is part of its plan to increase its global presence in classifieds, payments and food-delivery verticals in the MENA region.

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