Chotot.com, an online classifieds site known as the ‘Craiglist of Vietnam,’ has come under the management of a Norwegian company, which is strengthening its market position in Southeast Asia.
Telenor Group has entered into agreements with Singapore Press Holdings and Norwegian media group Schibsted to acquire their respective shares in 701 Search, a Singapore-based digital media company that operates several online classifieds sites in Malaysia, Vietnam and Myanmar.
The deal with Singapore Press Holdings is worth US$110 million, and Schibsted $406 million, Telenor said in a statement on May 11.
The deals mean Telenor will now own 100 percent of chotot.vn, as well as three other leading online classifieds services – Mudah (Malaysia), OneKyat (Myanmar) and ImSold (Malaysia and Vietnam).
The transactions are expected to be finalized by the end of June 2017.
Cho Tot (Good Market) was founded in 2012 as an online trading floor connecting buyers with sellers. The platform passed one million users in the third quarter of 2015.
Chotot CEO Bryan Teo said that Telenor’s 100 percent stake in the company will not affect the site’s operations, as the Norwegian company has sat on the 701 Search board of directors since 2013.
Telenor is a mostly government-owned telecommunications company headquartered at Fornebu in Bærum, close to Oslo.
Telenor entered into agreements with Schibsted and Singapore Press Holdings in 2013 to create joint-venture online classifieds companies in Latin America and Asia.
In 2015, the partners then joined forces with South African media group Naspers to combine platforms in several markets, including Brazil.
Following this move, Telenor’s ownership in online classifieds joint ventures rose to 25 percent of the market in Brazil, 50 percent in Chile, 33.3 percent in Malaysia and Vietnam, 18.6 percent in Thailand, and 11.3 percent in Indonesia.
“We have enjoyed good co-operation with our partners since we teamed up in 2013,” Jørgen C. Arentz Rostrup, chief financial officer of Telenor, said.
“As part of our efforts to simplify Telenor Group’s business portfolio and to focus on business development in geographical areas of key importance, we now wish to concentrate on our online classifieds business via these fully owned assets in the Asian region.”
Source: Tuoi Tre News