Trade Me engaging with second buyout offer

trademeOnline marketplace Trade Me has received a $2.42 billion buyout proposal from American private equity firm Hellman & Friedman.

Hellman & Friedman’s proposal, pitched at $6.45 a share, trumps British firm Apax Partners’ offer last month of $6.40 a share in cash.

“The board has decided that it is in the interests of Trade Me and consistent with its fiduciary obligations to also engage with Hellman & Friedman on the new proposal,” the dual ASX/NZX-listed company announced in a statement.

“The board notes that there is no certainty either proposal will result in an offer, or any other transaction, for Trade Me,” the company added.

Trade Me stated it will keep the market updated on the third-party discussions in line with its continuous disclosure obligations.

Trade Me, which was launched in 1999 with 15 employees, now has more than 600 members on staff.

The online marketplace offers auctions and fixed-priced sales for cars, real estate and other household items. It also has jobs and online dating services.

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