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Polish publisher Agora, which has Poland’s number-two newspaper Gazeta.pl, has bought classifieds ads platform Trader.com for 120 million zlotys (£28.4 million) from Turkey’s Hurriyet. Agora said it’s aiming to become the country’s number-three web portal and a big advertising player, expecting property and car ad markets to grow by 33 percent and 17 percent a year by 2011 (via Thomson). Trader.com has 20 percent of the Polish classifieds market. Agora publishing director Michal Kreczmar told me the company is getting serious about acquisitions over the next couple of years but, in this deal, was acquiring only Trader.com’s Polish unit.
But analysts criticised the acquisition, saying Trader.com did revenues of only 19 million zlotys last year. For Agora, it’s a long play. Deputy CEO Zbigniew Bak (via Thomson): “We have paid a hefty premium and we are aware of that, but we have to prepare ourselves for the ads’ migration from print to the internet. For sure this investment will only bring a return over a very long time, but the loss of an insignificant part of our revenues in aid of boosting our position among our competitors is worth it.”