Trinity Mirror (LSE: TNI) is buying HomesOverseas and WhatHouse publisher Globespan Media for up to £5.9 million as UK newspaper operators continue to plough in to the online property market. Both sites include property listings while the overseas site features homes for sale abroad, at a time when more and more Britons are taking homes on the continent.
Globespan is being bought for £900,000 in cash and a further £5 million that is deferred over 30 months, conditional on it achieving profit targets. It will sit under the Smart Media Services division, a dedicated property unit formed out of the acquisition of the SmartNewHomes website operator in 2005 and which also includes Email4Property. Trinity Mirror is reckoning on £4 million revenues in Globespan’s first year under its stewardship. In a statement, CEO Sly Bailey said the buy adds to Trinity’s network of 80-plus property sites and allows it to grow faster in the online property sector.
Trinity Mirror and DMGT have essentially been duking it out, over the last couple of years, to buy in to a variety of classifieds verticals to ensure online listings’ magic touch can rub off on their advertising numbers. In its online property portfolio, DMGT counts FindANewHome, FindAProperty, HomesAndProperty and Primelocation, but Trinity is also one of Fish4Homes‘ three stakeholders along with Newsquest and Guardian Media Group. HomesOverseas also has a monthly printed magazine; Globespan also runs B2B brands Showhouse and the What House awards. One factor that would put the dampener on even this revenue stream – the spectre of a possible housing recession.