Bezeq's Walla agrees to sell Yad2 ad website to Axel Springer

TEL AVIV Tue May 6, 2014 3:35am EDT

TEL AVIV May 6 (Reuters) - Bezeq Israel Telecom subsidiary Walla Communications agreed to sell its classified ads website Yad2 to Axel Springer Digital Classifieds for 788 million shekels ($228 million) in cash.

Axel Springer Digital Classifieds is a joint venture 70 percent owned by German media company Axel Springer and 30 percent by the General Atlantic fund.

Walla said after adjustments, which it did not detail, the price was expected to reach 806 million shekels.

"Besides the consideration of price, it was important for us to choose a buyer who could guarantee the continued development and success of Yad2," Walla Chief Executive Ilan Yeshua said in a statement on Tuesday. "Axel Springer is a strategic investor that owns a great number of classified ad sites around the world."

Yad2, founded in 2005, is Israel's leading classified ads site. Walla bought 75 percent of Yad2 four years ago for 117 million shekels and acquired the remaining 25 percent last November for 50 million shekels.

Since it was acquired by Walla, Yad2 has doubled its revenue and nearly tripled its profit. It has 16 million visits every month with over 10,000 ads uploaded daily. Over half the traffic on the site is through mobile devices.

Bezeq is Israel's largest telecoms group.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval ($1 = 3.4579 Israeli Shekels) (Reporting by Tova Cohen)

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