GrabOne founder Shane Bradley’s $12m payday

Bradley: $4 million in the bag; $8 million bonus payments if targets hit

Shane Bradley sold his final 25% stake in IdeaHQ to APN for $A3.20 million ($NZ4.18 million), the Australian media company’s half year interim half-year report reveals.

That was less that the amount APN was carrying on its books for its non-controlled stake ($A4.37 million).

But there is also a potentially big plus side.

The ASX filing says there is a further $A6.18 million ($NZ8.08 million) payable “should the businesses achieve certain predetermined performance targets”.

That means Mr Bradley stands to make up to $NZ12.26 million from the sale.

He was the sole owner of IdeaHQ, the holding company for deal site Grab One and Trade Me rival Sella, before Herald publisher APN bought a 25% stake in February 2011.

APN subsequently bought another 50% of the company then, late last year, the final 25% – whose price it has finally revealed in its latest ASX filing. (APN’s early filings note the first two buy-ins, but not their value).

Speaking to NBR ONLINE today, Mr Bradley would not comment on specific financials, but said he had financial incentive to stay on as GrabOne CEO – specifically, that the earn-out period covered up until the end of next year.

While fast growing companies like Xero can use shares to pay or part-pay for new acquisitions, that option is not so attractive if you are dealing with a sharemarket struggler like APN.

Sensibly, Mr Bradley went for an all-cash deal.

Slim earnings
How is he tracking toward his earn-out?

Mr Bradley won’t say.

But APN’s August 17 ASX filing does at least report the deal site is cash positive. It says GrabOne New Zealand ebitda was $A1.2 million for the first six months to June 30, with earnings expected to double in the second half.  

Mr Bradley told NBR that gross revenue was in the range of $NZ9 million to $NZ10 million a month locally (GrabOne also operates in Australia, where it is No 2 in the market), or $108 to $120 million a year.

APN says GrabOne’s share of the NZ daily deal market has increased from 65% to 75% over the past year as it parlayed its first-mover advantage into market dominance (by the time Groupon finally arrived downunder, many thought its look and feel was aping GrabOne, not the other way around).

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Good on him. He got there by copying a US company and using APN for financing but still well played.

Hopefully he will use his new found wealth (once he has earned his earn out) to create an new high growth company that he can take international.


Good on you Shane. Right time to sell.


Maybe he could set up an online accountng company.


Having met Shane, I'm really pleased to see he's got a good return for some extremely good business decisions and for really understanding his operating market. Plus hopefulyl APN are able to integrate the broader businesses into their portfolio and make a decent return off it. Having a healthy dwarf competing with TradeMe is good for the market.


Dwarf? I've seen Shane and he's well over the official dwarf height.


Nicely played - Shane and APN barely put a foot wrong growing GrabOne.
I'm surprised at the exit quantum frankly - Shane deserves more, and APN have a fantastic business and opportunity on their hands.


That is only for a 25% interest which values the company at ~ $50m

He wouldn't have got that much for the first sell downs but still a large amount.


Let's hope he didn't accept any APN shares as payment for the first two holdings he sold to APN


Well done Shane! Congratulations and good luck with whatever new ventures you are up to.


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