E-commerce conglomerate, Naspers, is turning its focus towards fast-growing emerging markets, as it continues to seek growth markets to boost expansion plans.
As part of its emerging markets strategy, the South African internet giant has concluded plans to sell Ricardo, its Switzerland-based online retailer. The deal is estimated to be worth 300 to 400 million Swiss francs (about $413 million), Reuters reported.
Ricardo became a subsidiary of Naspers in 2008, after the company bought British online auction company Tradus (formerly QLX Ricardo) for $1.9 billion, as it sought to boost its internet revenue streams.
The company has grown to become one of the most popular e-commerce websites in Switzerland, with the company reporting the value of goods sold on Ricardo by its 2.3 million registered users to be CHF 660 million ($707 million) annually.
Naspers is yet to comment on the planned sale, but rumours surrounding the deal have been on for months.
However, Swiss media groups like Tamedia and Ringier, which has presence in Nigeria, are expected to show interest in acquiring Ricardo. Sell-side adviser, Altium Capital, is reported to be preparing information packs to be sent out to companies interested in buying.
Although all companies connected to the expected sale have not made comments, a spokesman for Ringier hinted that the company will be highly interested in Ricardo, if it were for sale.
Naspers has already made some investments in internet groups in China, Russia and India, with stakes in Russian social network, Mail.ru, and Chinese Internet portal, Tencent.
Naspers has over the past few decades grown from a book and newspaper publishing company to a multi-billion dollar media and internet giant. It controls major brands like OLX, Multichoice and M-net, all of which are top players in the e-commerce and media space in Africa.