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Hamburg-based business social network Xing may have just 5.7 million users against LinkedIn’s 21 million, but the site has plenty of grunt t…

Hamburg-based business social network Xing may have just 5.7 million users against LinkedIn’s 21 million, but the site has plenty of grunt to front up on an acquisition trail that has seen it buy three European biz nets in the last 14 months. “We can spend at least 40 million euros (£31.9 million). We see in other European countries, we see opportunities in America, we see opportunities in a strategic market like China, where we can make acquisitions,” CEO Lars Hinrichs said at Reuters’ Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit in Paris today.

Xing bought Spain’s eConozco, with 150,000 members, in March 2007; then Spain’s Neurona three months later with 830,000 users, before taking Turkey’s Cember in December for 4.36 million euros, adding another 280,000 users. The combined price was 14 million euros (£11.1 million), Hinrichs revealed.

Xing did 19.61 million euros revenue in 2007 and has been integrating its acquisitions in to Xing.com. But LinkedIn claims to be growing by around 1.2 million users (around a fifth of Xing’s total) every month. LinkedIn, however, is seen as behind in Europe, where it hired an MD last year, so Xing’s strategy is to buy up a range of non-English sites.

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