Acquisition of 52.1 percent interest in leading automotive classified ads portal Carwale and 19.1 percent interest in lifestyle marketplace Bag It Today / Intensification of partnership with India Today Group
Axel Springer AG has increased its presence considerably in one of the world’s biggest media markets by acquiring a 52.1 percent equity interest in the leading Indian automotive classified ads portal Carwale (www.Carwale.com ). India Today Group, the country’s biggest magazine publisher and owner of the leading Indian news channel AAJ TAK, is simultaneously acquiring 18.3 percent of Carwale. Furthermore, Axel Springer takes an equity interest of 19.1 percent in the Indian lifestyle marketplace Bag It Today (www.BagItToday.com ), a 100 percent subsidiary of India Today Group. The two companies have jointly published the Indian edition of the world’s biggest automotive magazine AUTO BILD since 2008.
Ralph Buechi, President Axel Springer International at Axel Springer AG: “In pursuit of our digitization and internationalization strategy, we are now taking the next growth steps in a dynamic, fast-growing market. Together with the India Today Group, we are investing in highly promising online growth sectors. As an acclaimed media company, India Today is the ideal partner for us, with its extensive experience, excellent market contacts and a high degree of credibility.”
With 1.3 million unique users and more than 17 million page impressions per month, the classified ads portal Carwale leads the Indian market for new car brokerage and used car sales on the Internet, by a wide margin. Having acquired 70 percent of the equity in that company, Axel Springer and the India Today Group together will hold the leading position in the Indian online classified ads market for automobiles.
Since 2008, the India Today Group has successfully complemented its book club business with the attractive online offering of the Internet-based lifestyle marketplace Bag It Today. Taking advantage of its “private shopping” approach, the currently more than 3 million registered users of Bag It Today can purchase the brand-name products of internationally recognized companies at attractive prices. In addition, Axel Springer acquired the option of increasing its 19.1 percent investment in the coming years and take over the majority of Bag It Today.
Aroon Purie, founder and Chairman of the India Today Group: “With a population of more than 1.2 billion, India is the most populous democratic country in the world. It also happens to be a very young country: More than half of Indians who actively use the Internet are younger than 25 years old. That holds the promise of considerable monetization potential, which we want to exploit in cooperation with our partner Axel Springer in the future.”
With annual growth rates in excess of 20 percent, India has one of the fastest-growing online markets in the world. According to the latest forecasts, it can be assumed that India will become the world’s third-biggest online market, after China and the United States, already in 2013. Already today, India has more than 60 million Internet users, more than Germany.