EMAS Digital acquires majority interest in French automotive classified portal AutoReflex.com

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EMAS Digital acquires majority interest in French automotive classified portal AutoReflex.com

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The acquisition will immediately elevate the newly formed joint venture EMAS Digital of Mondadori France and Axel Springer France to the No. 2 rank among online classified portals for automobiles

Mondadori France and Axel Springer France jointly purchase an 83 percent equity interest in the French automotive classified portal AutoReflex.com . The acquisition will be effected by the new joint venture EMAS Digital (Editions Mondadori Axel Springer Digital), which will purchase the shares in the holding company AR Technology SAS from the two founders Jean-Philippe Cartier and Bastien Fauck and from the other owners Odyssée Venture and AVM International.

Axel Springer France and Mondadori France will each hold a 50 percent interest in EMAS Digital. The two media companies have cooperated successfully in France for many years. Founded in 1988, the joint venture EMAS publishes the three market-leading automotive magazines AUTO PLUS, L’AUTO JOURNAL and SPORT AUTO and their digital offerings (online, mobile, tablets), among other titles.

AutoReflex.com is an online portal for automotive classified ads with a clear focus on the end customer business (B2C segment). Founded in 2000, this company operates portals that reach about 1.6 million unique users. It currently has listings for more than 100,000 automobiles and some thousands of registered dealers.

Ralph Büchi, President of Axel Springer International: “AutoReflex makes a perfect fit with our activities in the segment of French automotive media. The acquisition of the highly profitable French portal for automotive classified ads adds an important online classified ads component to the EMAS portfolio of high-quality media brands. Thus, we can now offer our readers the full range of automobile-related media services.”

Ernesto Mauri, President of Mondadori France: “The acquisition of one of the leading French portals for automotive classified ads enables a significant strength of EMAS, especially in realizing synergies in online marketing, with a view to our leading French automotive media brand AUTO PLUS. The acquisition emphasizes furthermore the intention of Mondadori to develop its online activities in the next few months. We are happy to realize this together with our long-term partner in France.”

Jean-Philippe Cartier, founder and CEO of AutoReflex.com: „ We are delighted that EMAS Digital with its shareholders Mondadori and Axel Springer joins our company. Besides upcoming synergies, the association of AutoReflex.com and strong media brands like AUTO PLUS, L’AUTO JOURNAL and SPORT AUTO enables a development of the activities, I started together with my team. I am happy with this acquisition and will provide all my competencies for the further development of AutoReflex.com.”

The market for online automotive classified ads in France has grown at an annual rate of 20 % since 2006. It reached a volume of approximately EUR 66 million in 2010. The growth has been driven mainly by the B2C segment.

The transaction is still subject to the approval of the relevant antitrust authorities.

Press contact: Christian Garrels
Tel: +49 30 2591 77651