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Trade Me pays $11.5m for listing partner AutoBase

BUSINESSDESK: Trade Me has spent $11.5 million mopping up the 75% of auto-listing aggregator AutoBase it didn’t already own.

Before Trade Me's buy out, the balance of the Autobase shares were split evenly between cofounders Hamish Lusk and David Paviour.

The deal brings AutoBase under complete Trade Me ownership after nine years of an exclusive business arrangement and seven years since the auction company bought a 25% stake in the aggregator, the Wellington-based company said.

AutoBase aggregates listings from car, truck and boat deals, which are then displayed on Trade Me, the online auction site controlled by Fairfax Media.

“This acquisition will allow us to consolidate the Trade Me motors business line,” chief executive Jon Macdonald said.

“It’s business as usual for dealers, except we’ll have direct relationships with them.”

Earlier this month Trade Me said it will test Australian retailers’ appetite for online sales into New Zealand in a venture with e-commerce software company ChannelAdvisor.

The deal will let retailers worldwide list their products on Trade Me in time for Christmas this year.

The purchase will be funded through cash and settles today.

The purchase price values AutoBase at 4.8 times its pre-tax earnings of $3.2m and 6.7 times it net profit of $2.3m in the 12 months ended March 31.

The shares rose 0.9% to $3.56, and have surged 32% from its listing price of $2.70 in November.