The online auction market has grown so crowded in the past few years that it’s almost impossible to find opportunities for new growth anywhere in the world. That’s why when a site the size of Poland’s Allegro goes on sale, it becomes a global fight to see who’ll make off with its business.
Reuters is reporting that an anonymous source has identified Alibaba, eBay and private equity firm CVC Capital Partners as three of the leading bidders for the rights to Naspers-run Allegro, which boasts the largest online auction share in Eastern Europe. By year’s end, those close to the deal have hinted that an agreement worth upwards of $3.3 billion could be forged by interested parties.
And considering Allegro’s standing in the online European market – 22,000 shops worth more than $8 billion in sales set to double this year – the race to secure ownership could get very intense.
“Allegro is a ready-made entry not only to Poland, but also the region,” an unnamed source told Reuters.” Strategic bidders eBay and Alibaba will be hard to beat in the race, with Alibaba looking better positioned from the anti-monopoly point of view.”
The deal will likely bring a windfall of cash to South African-based Naspers, Allegro’s parent company and operator of Allegro pseudo-competitor OLX.pl. Naspers already holds stakes in eCommerce sites in Russia and China, which may make its Eastern European business expendable in the long run.