Multimedia juggernaut Naspers has entered the Turkish internet market with a bang by acquiring approximately 70 percent of the shares of markafoni, a Turkish private shopping club, through its subsidiary MIH-Allegro. Our source in Turkey says the investment values markafoni at around $200 million.
Markafoni is the third biggest ecommerce company in Turkey, and has ambitions to become a global brand.
The acquisition includes markafoni’s operations in Turkey (3.5 million registered members) and Ukraine in addition to Zizigo, the largest online shoe retailer in Turkey.
Naspers’ purchase of a controlling interest evidently changes the share structure of markafoni significantly. Existing investors have exited with the exception of the company’s founders and management, which will remain in charge.
Markafoni chairman Sina Afra and board members Tolga Tatari and Ahmet Emre Sarı hold the remainder of shares not owned by MIH-Allegro as a result of the deal.
Over the past two decades, Naspers has managed to evolve from a traditional print media business operational in a single country to a publicly listed e-media company operational in multiple markets. The group’s most significant operations are located in emerging markets, including South Africa and the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa, China, Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, Russia and India.
Naspers holds a 34% interest in Hong Kong-listed Tencent, China’s largest internet services portal, a 29% stake in Mail.ru Group, the leading internet company in Russian-speaking markets and a 95% stake in BuscaPé, a ecommerce companies that operates in Latin America (primarily in Brazil), among many other investments.