REA Group, Australia's largest online property portal, has acquired a strategic 17.2% shareholding in iProperty Group (ASX:IPP) for $106.3m, valuing the...

REA Group, Australia's largest online property portal, has acquired a strategic 17.2% shareholding in iProperty Group (ASX:IPP) for $106.3m, valuing the company at $617m. We see significant synergistic benefits in terms of sharing technology and providing strategic advice as IPP emerges as the dominant property portal provider in South East Asia. IPP's nearest competitor in the region, squarefoot.com.hk, is currently owned by REA Group with the strategic stake likely to ensure market share dominance in future periods. Hong Kong represents IPP's biggest revenue opportunity with more than US$340m spent on property advertisements annually of which less than 3% is currently online but growing exponentially. We now expect Hong Kong to become a material driver of earnings growth for IPP in the long term. Our target price for IPP has increased from $3.34 to $3.96.


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