September 9, 2019 / 7:23 AM / a month ago

Adevinta's Leboncoin unit to buy Argus to boost French car market

OSLO (Reuters) - Adevinta’s (ADEA.OL) French unit Leboncoin has agreed to buy Argus Group for an undisclosed amount, boosting its position as an online market place for second-hand cars in France, the Norwegian company said on Monday.

The deal gives Leboncoin access to Argus’ auto pricing and valuation tools, complementing its own website for buying and selling cars, online markets operator Adevinta added.

“We have said we will engage in M&A activity to strengthen our positions in markets where we are already leading, and we are following through on that commitment,” Adevinta Chief Executive Rolv Erik Ryssdal said in a statement.

“We have also seen strong growth in our key sectors in cars, jobs and property, and acquiring the Argus Group enhances our strong position in the French car market segment,” he added.

In 2018, Argus, which has 270 employees, had a revenue of 39.1 million euros ($43.11 million) and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of 5.4 million euros.

Fast-growing Adevinta, which owns online market sites in 16 countries in three continents, was spun-off from Norwegian media company Schibsted (SBSTA.OL) in April to become Norway’s most valuable initial public offering in 13 years.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of October, Adevinta said.

Reporting by Terje Solsvik; Editing by Gwladys Fouche and Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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