Trade Me CEO to stay on amid takeover tussle

trade meOnline marketplace Trade Me has announced that chief executive Jon Macdonald will stay on as the company weighs two multi-billion-dollar takeover proposals from overseas private equity firms.

Macdonald, who joined Trade Me in 2003, had planned to step down this month after being at the helm for about a decade. But the two takeover offers from Apax Partners and Hellman & Friedman have put his plans on hold.

According to news sources, the company will announce new information on a new CEO appointment in due course.

The online marketplace received its second takeover offer last week, 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.

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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