REA expands further into Asia

REA Group, the owner of realestate.com.au, has purchased a stake in a South-East Asian listings portal for $106.3 million, as it expands its offshore operations.

Majority owned by News Corp Australia, REA has acquired a 17.22 per cent shareholding in iProperty Group, which operates substantial online property advertising sites in Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore. The group will seek representation on the iProperty board

iProperty also has investments in India and the Philippines.

REA operates businesses in Italy, Luxembourg and Hong Kong, as well as a Chinese language website, MyFun.com.

REA group interim chief executive Peter Tonagh said in a statement: “This acquisition provides us with a strategic stake in one of the fastest growing real estate markets in the world and complements our existing business in Hong Kong, and the recent launch of MyFun.com and our partnership with Soufun.com in China.

“The iProperty Group’s portfolio of brands is strongly positioned in each of its respective markets throughout South-East Asia.

“We understand and respect the business models in play in these markets and look forward to working with the iProperty group board to support the continued delivery of their exceptional results.”

REA chairman Hamish McLennan said: “This acquisition further demonstrates our commitment to international expansion.

“It is a fantastic opportunity for REA group and a continuation of our growth strategy in the Asian region.”

REA’s main competitor in Australia, the Fairfax Media real estate brand Domain, is also planning expansion. Fairfax chief executive Greg Hywood signalled the company has plans for the brand in a recent speech to the Melbourne Press Club. “I won’t go into too much detail about our future plans around Domain – watch this space,” he said.

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