German publishing house Axel Springer is in talks to buy Israeli consumer information and price comparison website Zap Group from Apax Partners for NIS 400-450 million, sources inform "Globes." Zap was acquired by Apax Partners in May 2015 for NIS 150 million.
Zap Group currently operates 22 websites covering a wide range of subjects and encompassing 450,000 businesses. Each month there are 16 million visits to Zap's website with users seeking information for their purchasing decisions.
Shortly after Apax Partners acquired Zap, former Hot CEO Ilan Zachi was appointed CEO and he has implemented a range of changes both in the workforce and the products offered to customers. Zachi and the new management team marked out data as the key to improved performance and Zap independently developed a platform to gather and analyze data to generate profiles of users to serve business campaigns and advertizers searching for channels to reach segmented consumers according to sectors and purchasing intentions.
Campaign data is updated in real-time enabling such campaigns to be optimized from moment-to-moment. Zap did not collect premiums on its new products, expecting long-term gains from its tools which make ads more effective and would this increase advertising revenue.
Apax is now seeking a pay-off for its investments in upgrading zap Group and its products. Apax Partners Israel managing partner Zehavit Cohen does not usually sell a company after such a short period of ownership, but market sources believe that Apax Israel's other investments such as Psagot Investment House Ltd. cannot be expected to yield returns for a long time and Cohen is determined to prove to Apax that her investments in the new fund that she opened are already proving themselves.
Axel Springer already owns Israeli classified ads website Yad2, which it bought from Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication Co. Ltd. (TASE: BEZQ) for NIS 806 million in 2014.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on December 27, 2017
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