Axel Springer and General Atlantic have signed an agreement to acquire 100 percent of the equity in allesklar.com AG (meinestadt.de) executing on the strategy to grow in the online classifieds business / The leading local portal meinestadt.de provides extensive information on more than 11,000 German cities and towns / Georg Konjovic will be the new CEO
Axel Springer Digital Classifieds, a strategic partnership between Axel Springer and the global growth investor General Atlantic founded in the spring of 2012, has signed an agreement to acquire allesklar.com AG, which operates Germany’s leading local portal meinestadt.de. The company is being sold by the founding Stegger family (56.1 percent) and by Holtzbrinck Digital Strategy (43.9 percent).
Founded in 1996, the Siegburg-based company currently employs a staff of about 300 people. Its most important asset is the local portal meinestadt.de, which attracts more than 8 million unique monthly users (AGOF). Users turn to meinestadt.de for a variety of local and regional content, including job and apprenticeship offers, real estate and automotive ads and general classifieds for some 11,337 German cities and towns, at the present time. The regionally specific portal sites also offer city information and leisure time recommendations, as well as local news, information on events, movie schedules, and a business directory.
Dr. Jens Müffelmann, Head of the Electronic Media Division at Axel Springer AG: “meinestadt.de offers sustained profitable growth, a very wide reach and strong brand familiarity, as well as tremendous growth prospects, due to its focus on regional and local content. As a leader among regional portals, moreover, meinestadt.de makes an excellent fit with our portfolio of national classified marketplaces.”
Jörn Nikolay, Principal and Head of General Atlantic’s German office: “The acquisition of meinestadt.de marks yet another milestone of our classifieds initiative, after the founding of Axel Springer Digital Classifieds and the acquisition of Totaljobs.”
Dr. Manfred Stegger, founder and Chief Executive Officer of allesklar.com AG: “As evidenced by its very successful record in the digital business, Axel Springer Digital Classifieds is the new ‘good owner’ I have been looking for. I am handing them a healthy, very profitable company that is producing the best results in its history this year. Like me, Axel Springer and General Atlantic see the great opportunities inherent in a local approach and strong brand of ‘meinestadt.de’, which has played a leading role in the German Internet for years already. My life’s work is in very good hands with Axel Springer Digital Classifieds.”
Following the acquisition, the founder and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Manfred Stegger, 61, has decided to leave the company at his own wish. Georg Konjovic, 34, will succeed him by January 1, 2013, at the latest. Appointed Director Premium Content at Axel Springer AG since January 1, 2011, he also served as the Managing Director of hamburg.de, the official city portal of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, from 2007 to 2010. Peter Bettin, 50, Chief Operating Officer of allesklar.com, will continue as a Management Board member.
In early March 2012, Axel Springer AG and the global growth investor General Atlantic agreed to set up Axel Springer Digital Classifieds GmbH. The strategic partnership created the conditions necessary for an accelerated growth within digital classifieds. Axel Springer’s online classifieds business has been bundled into Axel Springer Digital Classifieds, with Axel Springer holding a 70 percent share, as majority shareholder, and General Atlantic holding a 30 percent share in this company. The partnership is currently composed of European online jobs portal StepStone, along with the French and German real estate portals SeLoger and Immonet, respectively. In April 2012, StepStone acquired Totaljobs, the market-leading jobs portal in the United Kingdom.
The transaction is still pending, subject to the approval of the cartel authorities.