Trader Classified Media

Trader Classified Media

July 13, 2005 13:23 ET

Trader Classified Media Makes a Major Strategic Internet Investment in China and Reinforces China Growth Initiatives

AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS--(CCNMatthews - July 13, 2005) - China Internet Real Estate Classified Leader

Trader Classified Media N.V., a leader in classified advertising, announces today the signing of an agreement to acquire over time the largest shareholding in SouFun Holdings Limited (, China's leading real estate Internet business, with existing operations in 29 of China's largest cities.

The transaction is potentially the largest investment undertaken by Trader in its 18-year acquisition history.

SouFun is China's leading online media company focusing exclusively on providing information and services relating to China's growing real estate sector. The company operates the highest ranked web site that focuses exclusively on real estate-related classified advertising and services in China. According to Alexa Ratings, is the 147th largest site in the world and one of the largest sites focusing solely on real estate classifieds.

SouFun also has the largest database of online real estate listings for new and secondary real estate markets as well as rental properties in China, with more than 400,000 unique properties listed. SouFun has more than 600 employees throughout China and is headquartered in Beijing. SouFun intends to have a presence in over 40 cities by the end of 2005 and generated revenues of approximately US$10 million in 2004.

The agreement provides for Trader to take an initial 15% stake for US$22.5 million, with a series of call options over the next 2 years whereby Trader will be able to increase its stake to between 45% and 100% according to fixed prices or ratios depending on the long term capital financing options of SouFun. The series of call options at fixed prices would require an additional investment of approximately US$170 million, for a total investment of approximately US$200 million. The closing of the transaction is subject to Trader's satisfactory completion of due diligence, board approval and other standard closing conditions.

John H. McCall MacBain, President and CEO of Trader Classified Media, commented:

"We view China as one of our most important markets, both on the Internet and in print, and we intend to make development in China one of our key priorities for both organic growth and acquisitions. We are delighted to have entered into this agreement today to acquire a stake and significant future options in the leading Chinese online real estate company in a landmark deal for Trader."

Didier Breton, Chief Operating Officer of Trader Classified Media added:

"This is a tremendous opportunity for us to share our expertise in classified advertising, gained both in China and in the real estate sector in 15 of our existing countries. This expertise will permit SouFun to accelerate its development through the monetization of its huge traffic and content. Similar to our experience in Russia, real estate advertising is emerging as the leading vertical in our sector in China."

Reinforcing China Growth Initiatives:

Trader also announces today several additional initiatives that the firm has undertaken in China, a market with significant growth potential for classified advertising, both on internet and in print.

Increased Stake in Shou di Shou

Trader has reached an agreement to increase its stake in China's leading classifieds business, Shou di Shou, to 55.0%. Under this agreement, the Company will pay US$2.5 million for the additional 15% acquired. Furthermore, the shareholders of Shou di Shou have agreed to invest an additional US$3.0 million to expand the business both in print and on the internet.

Expansion of Shou di Shou to New Cities

In addition to its leading positions in Beijing and Harbin, which sell more than 5 million copies annually, management plans to launch the Shou di Shou print classified business in Shanghai in September.

Shou di Shou also plans to launch in an additional 6 cities over the next 12 months throughout China.

Development of Online Business

Trader also plans to assist Shou di Shou in the re-launch of the Chinese version of its online classifieds business in September to meet the tremendous traffic demands of its existing website. Shou di Shou currently operates one of China's leading generalist classified websites and will take advantage of its market position to aggressively expand its online generalist classifieds business across China.

Didier Breton, Trader's Chief Operating Officer, commented:

"We are pleased with the progress that the Shou di Shou business has made and our continuing investment in both print and Internet should further solidify its position. In addition, the expansion to the greater Shanghai area represents a tremendous opportunity for us to grow in one of the world's most rapidly expanding markets for classifieds."

An interview with Trader's President and CEO can be viewed on the Company's website and on

About Trader Classified Media

Trader Classified Media ( is a leader in classified advertising, providing services and solutions to both professional and individual buyers and sellers through multiple media channels including Internet, print, telephone, SMS and direct mail. The Company produces 578 print titles, with 10 million readers per week, and hosts 56 websites, with 15 million unique monthly visitors, in 22 countries.

The Company was founded in 1987 and today employs 7,200 people. Trader Classified Media is listed on Euronext (Paris Stock Exchange Eurolist) and is part of the SRD (ISIN code: NL0000233187 and Reuters code: TRD). Trader Classified Media is a member of ICMA (International Classified Media Association).

Forward-Looking Statements

Some of the statements in this document are forward-looking. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding the intent, belief and current expectations of the Company or its officers with respect to various matters. When used in this document, the words "expects", "believes", "anticipates", "plans", "may", "will", "should" and similar expressions, and the negatives thereof, are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such statements are not promises or guarantees, and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual outcome to differ materially from those suggested by any such statements. Those factors include, but are not limited to risks or uncertainties, described in our publicly filed documents.

These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this document. We expressly disclaim any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statement contained herein to reflect any change in our expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any forward-looking statement is based.

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