Get a demo Do I subscribe? News sign-up
Download PDF
Print

ONLINE AUCTIONEER QXL MERGES WITH GERMANY’S RICARDO

News, 17 May 2000


Internet auction house QXL has announced plans to merge with its German rival Ricardo.de in an all-share deal. The marriage will create Europe's largest internet auction company, with 1.7m registered user.

Called QXLricardo, the combined operation will be headquartered in London with a market value of $1.7bn. According to QXL chief executive Jim Rose, the companies are a good fit: Ricardo enjoys market leadership in Germany, plus an operation in Switzerland where QXL is not present. Both have similar business models, both operate business-to-consumer auctions in addition to consumer-to-consumer, and both recently introduced charges to users.

Integration of the two companies' websites is likely, said Rose. "We'll probably take the best of both," and cited Ricardo's real-time auction technology as an example.

QXL enjoyed a meteoric rise to become one of the UK's biggest internet successes, but in common with other hi-tech stocks, its share price has declined of late as internet shares shed their fashionable shimmer. It also faces serious competition from larger US rivals like eBay, which is mulling a move into the European market.

At the end of 1999, QXL had over 500,000 registered users and had auctioned goods to the value of £5.2m ($7.87m). Ricardo has more than 670,000 registered users in Germany, Switzerland and Britain. Its German site auctioned goods worth Dm48.4m ($22.6m).

News source: BBC Online Business News (UK)