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European online auction site Tradus, the former QXL Ricardo, has agreed to be sold to South African media group Naspers as expected — but for even more than forecast over the weekend. The pair agreed to $36.32 (£18) per share, valuing Tradus at almost $2 billion (£946 million) — 36.7 percent higher than the average share price during its most recent half-year. Shareholders are expected to vote in February. This appears to open up a new line in internet business for Naspers, which has formed a new company, MIH Internet, under its Myriad International Holdings (MIH) division to manage the acquisition. Fixed on emerging markets MIH operates the M-Web portal, Chinese portal Tencent and TV services.
In today’s statement, Naspers said it “has prioritized the internet sector for expansion,” having achieved success in communications, social networking and community. It also confirmed it’s targeting central and eastern Europe — its acquisition of Polish ad-funded instant messenger Gadu-Gadu is ongong and Tradus is primarily based out of Poland and Switzerland. But Naspers said its current internet plays are mostly ad-funded and it wants to expand in to transactional income.