Daft.ie and DoneDeal.ie merge in new venture

Fallons’ Distilled Media and Norway’s Schibsted will each have 50%

Property portal Daft.ie will continue to operate from Dublin.

Property portal Daft.ie will continue to operate from Dublin.

 

Distilled Media Group has signed a deal with Norway’s Schibsted Media Group that will merge two Distilled businesses, the property portal Daft.ie and the online marketplace Adverts.ie, with Schibsted’s DoneDeal.ie.

Schibsted, the Oslo-listed international group that owns Ireland’s largest classifieds site, has joined forces with Distilled to form Digital Media Ventures Ltd.

Distilled and Schibsted will each have a 50 per cent shareholding in the new vehicle, which will own the three sites.

The combined entity had revenues of €9.4 million in the first six months of 2015, Distilled and Schibsted said in a statement.

Under the new ownership structure, the three operations will be run independently by existing management and staff. DoneDeal.ie will continue to operate from its Wexford base, while Daft.ie and Adverts.ie will continue to be located in Dublin.

Daft.ie co-founder Eamonn Fallon, the chief executive of Digital Media Ventures, said the deal would improve the scale of both companies as they seek to compete in the online advertising market.

“Joining forces with Schibsted in this venture creates an online advertising business of scale in Ireland with the capability of competing head to head with the US internet majors,” Mr Fallon said.

Schibsted bought a majority shareholding in DoneDeal. ie from Wexford-based founders Fred and Geraldine Karlsson in 2011 and later increased its shareholding to 100 per cent. The group has a network of classified sites in 30 countries.

Private equity firm Tiger Global’s minority shareholding in Distilled Media has been bought out as part of the deal. The New York- based venture capital firm previously held a 25 per cent shareholding in Distilled.

The founders of Distilled Media, brothers Eamonn and Brian Fallon, separately operate several other online sites including Boards.ie and TheJournal.ie, neither of which is part of this transaction. They will continue to operate under their current ownership.