Czech search engine Seznam on the block for $1 billion or more?

Czech search engine Seznam on the block for $1 billion or more?

Ernst-Jan has already written a piece about how useful the Quintura corporate blog is for keeping up-to-date on the latest developments in Eastern Europe and Russia. Now Yakov brings us this gem: apparently Czech search engine Seznam is talking to potential buyers about selling for a price exceeding $1 billion. Yes, that’s billion with a ‘b’ as in ‘big money’.

Google is cited as a potential acquirer, along with private equity firms Warburg Pincus, owner of Czech portal Centrum, and Macquarie Capital Alliance Group, owner of Czech yellow pages publisher Mediatel.

Seznam had 62% share of the Czech search market vs. Google’s 29% share. The site reported 4.4 million unique users in May 2008, and is estimating bringing in revenues of approx. $90 million this year, up 40% from 2007. The company was previously valued at $300 million after two private equity firms bought out Lycos Europe’s 30% stake for $91 million. The majority of shares is still in the hands of founder Ivo Lukačovič.

There seems to be a huge consolidation wave in the Czech internet landscape (see Yakov’s post for more on that), but if this deal goes through, it would make it one of the largest in the history of the Eastern European web scene alltogether.

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