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Axel Springer, India Today Group acquire 70% stake in CarWale.com

Germany-based media company Axel Springer has acquired 52.1 per cent stake in automotive classified ads portal CarWale.com. Simultaneously, India Today Group has acquired 18.3 per cent stake in CarWale. Axel Springer and India Today Group have jointly published the Indian edition of the German automobile magazine Auto Bild since 2008.

Germany-based media company Axel Springer has acquired 52.1 per cent stake in automotive classified ads portal CarWale.com. Simultaneously, India Today Group has acquired 18.3 per cent stake in CarWale. Axel Springer and India Today Group have jointly published the Indian edition of the German automobile magazine Auto Bild since 2008.

Axel Springer has also acquired 19.1 per cent stake in India Today Group’s online private sales store BagItToday.com. According to the agreement, Axel Springer will also have the option to increase its 19.1 per cent stake in the coming years and take over the majority of BagItToday. The Indian lifestyle marketplace claims to currently have more than 3 million registered users.

With 1.3 million unique users and more than 17 million page impressions per month, CarWale.com claims to lead the Indian market for new car brokerage and used car sales on the internet, by a wide margin. Having acquired 70 per cent of the equity in that company, Axel Springer and India Today Group together will hold the leading position in the Indian online classified ads market for automobiles.

Ralph Buechi, president, Axel Springer International, has said, “In pursuit of our digitization and internationalization strategy, we are now taking the next growth steps in a dynamic, fast-growing market. Together with the India Today Group, we are investing in highly promising online growth sectors. As an acclaimed media company, India Today is the ideal partner for us, with its extensive experience, excellent market contacts and a high degree of credibility.”

Aroon Purie, founder and chairman, India Today Group, has added, “With a population of more than 1.2 billion, India is the most populous democratic country in the world. It also happens to be a very young country: more than half of Indians who actively use the internet are younger than 25 years old. That holds the promise of considerable monetization potential, which we want to exploit in cooperation with our partner Axel Springer in the future.”

With annual growth rates in excess of 20 per cent, India has one of the fastest-growing online markets in the world. According to the latest forecasts, it can be assumed that India will become the world’s third-biggest online market, after China and the United States, by the end of 2013. Already today, India has more than 60 million internet users, more than Germany.

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