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PE firms to buy Poland's online shopping site Allegro Group for $3.253 bn

15 October 2016

Private equity firms Cinven, Permira and Mid Europa yesterday struck a deal to buy Allegro Group, the largest online marketplace and non-food shopping destination in Poland, from Naspers Ltd for $3.253 billion.

The Cinven consortium outbid offers from eBay Alibaba and CVC Capital Partners and others in the race to buy Allegro.

Founded in 1999, in Poznan, Poland-based Allegro is one of the most popular online shopping destinations in Poland, having over 20 million registered users.

Its online shopping platform, which is similar to eBay's, allows both individuals and companies to sell directly to consumers.

The company reports it sells 850,000 items per day, carries out 14 million transactions every month, and employs 1,275 people across five locations in Poznan, Warszawa, Torun, Wroclaw and Kraków.

The group also operates Ceneo, the leading price comparison platform in Poland.

Allegro competes with local rivals, Naspers-owned, eBay and Amazon in a more than 32 billion zlotys ($8 billion) Polish market.

Cinven, Permira and Mid Europa said that Allegro has a strong structural growth in the Polish e-commerce market driven by offline to online conversion from a relatively low base and has a market leading e-commerce platform.

David Barker, partner at Cinven, said, ''Allegro is a great business. It is a clear market leader and extremely well positioned to benefit from structural e-commerce drivers with a strong technology platform and strong reputation with its users.''

Richard Sanders, partner at Permira, said, ''In Allegro we have found a real gem which is the pre-eminent consumer and merchant internet brand in Poland. The business has a fantastic underlying technology platform and we look forward to backing the management team to develop it further.'' commerce.''

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