NEW YORK, LONDON and BEIJING, Sept. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Funds advised by Apax Partners (Apax) announced that, together with General Atlantic (GA), they have each agreed to acquire a 19% stake in SouFun, the largest online real estate portal in China. Both Apax and GA have invested US$163 million to acquire the shares at the IPO price from Telstra, the selling shareholder. Trading in SouFun shares on the New York Stock Exchange began on Friday, September 17th, after the opening bell on the NYSE.
Founded in 1999, SouFun is the leading online real estate website in China, and one of the country's fastest-growing companies. The company currently maintains 63 offices across China to focus on local market needs with content coverage in 106 cities. SouFun has over 139,000 listings for new residential property complexes, approximately eight million listings of secondary and rental residential properties, and over 140,000 listings of commercial properties for sale and lease. In addition, the company provides over 8,000 brands and one million listings from home furnishing and improvement vendors across China.
Vincent Mo, Founder and Chairman of SouFun, commented: "We are very happy that SouFun has become a NYSE-listed company and, in a concurrent process, received the investments from Apax Partners and General Atlantic, two of the world's leading private equity funds. Both Apax and GA are experienced investors in the online space. Their expertise and network will contribute to the continued success of SouFun as China's leading pure-play online real estate portal. The management is deeply committed to delivering strong shareholder value to all shareholders."
Richard Zhang, Partner & Head of Greater China at Apax Partners, said: "We are honoured to partner with SouFun and its founder Mr. Vincent Mo to take this market leading business to the next stage of its development. We were able to identify and complete this investment thanks to our global media sector expertise and our local Chinese presence.
"Apax is deeply committed to China and believes strongly in its long term growth potential. Our fundamental mission in China is to identify, back, and support successful Chinese businesses and help develop them into true national, and global, champions. Mr. Vincent Mo is an extraordinarily talented and driven leader who has built SouFun into a very exciting business, serving hundreds of millions of Chinese citizens in their quest for a better home and a better life."
Tom Hall, Partner and co-Head of the Apax Global Media Team, who will join the board of SouFun, commented: "Within the media team, we have had a clear focus on strong online businesses, particularly online classifieds, for some time. The growth in online usage and advertising we see in every market is in the case of SouFun combined with the opportunity to invest in a market-leading business that benefits from the continued urbanisation of China, and the consequent growth in the Chinese real estate market. We are delighted, also, to have the opportunity of partnering with the highly-talented entrepreneur who has created the business, Mr. Vincent Mo, the company's Chairman."
Media is one of the five sectors on which Apax Partners focuses. In the last 15 years, the Media team has advised Apax Funds on the investment of over euro 3.4bn of equity. Key investments include Trader Media Group, owner of Autotrader, the UK's market–leading automotive online classifieds business; Bankrate, the leading online consumer finance portal in the US; Cengage Learning, a global leader in educational publishing, learning solutions and library reference materials; and Emap, a market-leading publisher of information to professional communities.
Credit Suisse acted as financial adviser to Apax Partners.
About Apax Partners
Apax Partners is one of the world's leading private equity investment groups. It operates across the United States, Europe and Asia and has more than 30 years of investing experience. Funds under the advice and management of Apax Partners globally total approximately $40 billion. These Funds provide long-term equity financing to build and strengthen world-class companies. Apax Partners Funds invest in companies across its global sectors of Retail & Consumer, Tech & Telecom, Media, Healthcare and Financial & Business Services. For more information visit: www.apax.com.
SOURCE Apax Partners