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Central European asset roll-up as Naspers looks to buy Forticom

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It looks like some major consolidation is about to go down in the Central European Internet market, and in particular Poland.

According to local newspaper reports, the largest Internet group in the region, Naspers/MIH Group, is conducting due diligence of assets belonging to DST (Digital Sky Technology)-owned holding Forticom. Naspers/MIH Group and DST already together own the largest Russian online portal Mail.ru.

Should the books stack up, the deal would see Naspers/MIH and DST merge their Polish Internet properties: IM service Gadu-Gadu, wholly owned by Naspers, has 15 million registered users, and the Facebook-of-Poland Nasza-Klasa.pl, 70% owned by Forticom, claims over 23 million registered users. The resulting single entity would reach over half of Poland’s Internet audience, reports Quintura.

Forticom also owns social networks Odnoklassniki.ru in Russia and One.lv & One.lt in Latvia and Lithuania respectively – so essentially it looks like Naspers and Forticom (DST) are doing an aggressive roll-up of assets across Central Europe to solidify their already strong positioning.

Poland claims over 20 million Internet users, which is around 52% of the 38 million population, so there’s plenty of room for organic growth yet. While the internet advertising market in the country was reportedly valued at $370 million in 2009.

  • Max

    Nasza-klasa.pl does not have 23 million users! There is around 16 million internet users in Poland. Nasza-klasa.pl is having around 13 million registered users and 11,2 million real users. See stats for November 2009.


  • Mark

    Nice to see a Cape Town company spending some money…:)

    • Jens Burger

      Yeah saw that too. I live in Switzerland, but never heard of a swiss city called cape town…

  • Leo

    So far Napsters has only made the wrong moves in Brazil.

    Hope they do better in central europe

  • http://blog.kurasinski.com/2010/02/08/gg-nk/ GG + NK = …? | AK74 - Artur Kurasiński blog (cc) 2007-2010

    […] wiadomo na ile jest to plotka a na ile potwierdzona informacja. TechCrunch twierdzi, że Naspers / MIH sprawdza co tam ciekawego i wartościowego Forticom ma pod pierzynką. Być może jest to krok w stronę […]

  • Travis Katz

    The Naspers guys are savy investors. They are the largest shareholders in Tencent, the biggest and most successful internet company in China, which today has a $250B market cap (they invested in 2001).

    There is a great opportunity to buy low-sell high in some of these high-growth high-risk markets.

  • Lidia

    Don’t call Nasza Klasa “Facebook-of-Poland” This is insulting for Facebook:)

  • http://www.portale-spolecznosciowe.pl/nasza-klasa-i-gadu-gadu-razem/ Portale Społecznościowe - Nasza-Klasa i Gadu-Gadu razem?

    […] zarówno polskie, jak i światowe obiegła sensacyjna informacja, że może dojść do połączenia Naszej-Klasy z Gadu-Gadu w jedną […]

  • SK

    poland, who cares??

    • Mario

      I care ;) earning hard cash in Poland.

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