New Zealand marketplace Trade Me could be bought in $2.5 billion deal

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There are reports that the popular internet retailer in New Zealand Trade Me will be acquired by an investment in a multi-billion kiwi dollar deal. British based private equity firm Apax Partners has reportedly made an offer of $2.5 billion New Zealand dollars. It has been reported that Trade Me enjoys nearly 4.5 million members and 7.4 million live listings at any one time.

Pundits with knowledge of the offer on the table say that there is a 50% chance that the deal will complete and the company’s books have been made available for due diligence. The offer appears to have come about because Trade Me examined how it could continue to prosper in the increasingly globalised ecommerce market. The report was called “Trade Me in 10 years”.

We went through a strategic review with our board looking at large global trends that have the potential to disrupt our business and model — everything from what the Google’s, Facebook’s and Amazon’s of the world are doing and how they could impact here.
– Caroline Rawlinson, Chief Financial Officer, Trade Me

The marketplace rose to prominence in New Zealand and is by far the the number one ecommerce site and marketplace in New Zealand. They don’t just offer the sales of goods, but also excel at motors and dating too.

If you want to start selling on Trade Me in New Zealand, they’re keen to hear from UK sellers. The DIT (Department for International Trade) has negotiated a discount on fees. You can enjoy a 15% reduction in commission from 9.85% gross (including payment fees) to 8.37%. Find out more here.

The marketplace works rather more like eBay than Amazon, which means you can prosper by creating and honing your own listings. But they do want to accredit overseas sellers. Trade Me says it wants to work with sellers who have solid ecommerce expertise already and seeks to attract sellers generating approximately £125,000 to £200,000 a year on existing marketplaces.



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