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Trade Me receives preliminary takeover proposal

Online marketplace Trade Me has received a preliminary, non-binding takeover proposal from private equity firm Apax Partners for 100 per cent of the business’s shares at a price of $6.40 per share.

Shares in Trade Me leapt almost 17 per cent to $5.59 on Wednesday, from $4.78 at close of business on Tuesday.

The board of Trade Me has reviewed the proposal and decided to engage with Apex, providing a period of due diligence access to the firm on an exclusive basis until December 12 in order to facilitate a binding offer.

This exclusive access is subject to a “fiduciary carve out” which permits the marketplace to engage with any unsolicited third-party proposals it receives.

The board of Trade Me noted there is no certainty the proposal will result in an offer or any other transaction for Trade Me, and advised shareholders that they do not need to take any action and should not do so without seeking professional advice.

The online marketplace delivered a strong result for FY18, increasing net profit by 4 per cent to $97 million, while revenue drew 7 per cent to $250 million off the back of the company’s classified business.

Trade Me forecasted solid revenue and profit growth for FY19, with revenue to grow by 5 to 8 per cent, and operating profit to grow at a similar rate.

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