Packer and Bassett buy into Scoopon

Scoopon_screengrabInvestors including James Packer and Seek co-founder Andrew Bassett have taken a stake in the  Melbourne company behind group buying sites Catch Of The Day and Scoopon.

According to today’s announcement, the company “has closed an investment for a minority stake in the company from New York-based Tiger Global Management and a group of leading Australian businessmen including James Packer’s Consolidated Press Holdings (CPH), Andrew Bassat, co-founder and CEO of Seek and Glenn Poswell founder of Gannet Capital.”

Founders Gabby and Hezi Leibovich, will retain a controlling stake in the group businesses, with Lee Fixel from Tiger Global and Jason Lenga from Seek joining the board.  

The deal is the latest multi-million investment in the rapdily growing group buying sector.

January saw Spreets acquired for $30m by Yahoo!7.

Although no value has been given for the latest deal, speculation earlier this month suggested that Packer would buy about 40% and value the compa y at $200m.

The announcement said that the new funds would be spent on launching in new locations and focusing on more localised deals. it would also go towards developing mobile apps.

Packer said: “Unlike many other players in the market, the team’s proven experience in building profitable e-commerce businesses, means they have the skills, supplier networks and economies of scale to keep growing and leading the market. We are excited to align ourselves with the market leader in the online daily deals sector in Australia.”

The company is also embroiled in a tradmark dispute with US-owned site Groupon, which trades as Star Deals in Australia because Scoopon registered the Australian Groupon domain first.

Consultancy KPMG advised the company’s owners on the deal.

The key players on the Australian group buying scene – including Hezi Leibovich and Spreets co-founder Dean McEvoy – will be particpiating in a session at next month’s Mumbrella360 conference in Sydney where they discuss the group buying business model. It will be the first time that the bosses of all the major group buying sites have shared the same stage.


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