Online classifieds site carsales.com announced on Tuesday it had bought a majority stake in Chiles’s leading automotive classifieds website, with the group’s chief executive saying Latin America was an “extremely attractive market”.
The company said it had paid $US15 million ($A19.85 million) for an 83 per cent stake in Chileautos, with an option to buy the remaining 17 per cent stake.
The purchase — funded by cash reserves and debt facilities — follows its acquisition of a controlling 65 per cent stake in Mexican automotive classifieds website SoloAutos, which was announced in October. That deal was believed to be worth about $US9 million.
Carsales also has investments in Brazil, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.
“We look forward to partnering with Chileautos and using carsales’ IP, technology and know-how to capitalise on Chileautos’ already excellent market position,” Carsales chief executive Greg Roebuck said.
“This is a prime strategic opportunity to take another Spanish speaking business to the next level.”
Carsales international director Paul Barlow said Chile was the strongest Latin American economy as measured by GDP per capita and Chileautos had significant upside potential.
Carsales in February reported a 10 per cent lift in first half profit to $51 million for the six months through December, with Mr Roebuck saying then the company would consider acquisitive as well as organic opportunities to drive growth.