DMGT to acquire Primelocation.com for £48m

LONDON - The Daily Mail & General Trust is to acquire property website Primelocation.com for £48m, the fourth property acquisition by a UK newspaper group in the last 13 months.

DMGT's offer for Fastcrop, Primelocation's holding company, follows News Corporation snapping up Propertyfinder.com last month for £14.3m, Smartnewhomes.com going to Trinity Mirror in July for £11.3m, and Findaproperty.com going to DMGT in November 2004 for £13.8m.

Rightmove.co.uk, owned by estate agents including Countrywide, could be the next to be snapped up with DMGT, News Corporation, DMGT and Trinity Mirror understood to be interested.

The offer for Primelocation follows the trend for other traditional media buying into the online space. Earlier this week ITV bought website FriendsReunited for up to £175m.

Primelocation was launched in 2001 by a consortium of more than 200 estate agents, and attracts more than 850,000 visitors a month. It also publishes a monthly property magazine hand-delivered to 110,000 London homes.

Andrew Hart, managing director of Associated New Ventures, said: "The acquisition continues our strategy of making investments to increase our exposure to key areas of the online advertising market. Primelocation is a prize asset for us, complementing our other established businesses.

"It is one of the leading UK property sites, in a highly competitive sector which is experiencing rapid growth. We intend to continue primelocation's rapid development and look forward to working with the management team in unlocking the opportunities that will arise out of this transaction."

The deal was negotiated through financial advisors Pricewaterhouse Coopers.

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