APN News & Media, the majority shareholder of daily deal website GrabOne, has made another push into the world of e-commerce and bought a controlling stake in an Australian internet shopping club.
APN - the publisher of the New Zealand Herald - has paid A$36 million ($45.8 million) for an 82 per cent share in brandsExclusive, an online shopping service that offers its members discounts on products from popular retailers such as Canterbury and adidas.
Under the deal, APN will pay a further A$30 million for the stake if brandsExclusive reaches its earnings targets in 2013.
APN chief executive Brett Chenoweth said it was an important purchase that showed the media company was "serious about digital".
BrandsExclusive markets itself as "Australia's leading online shopping destination for fashion, footwear and accessories" and estimates it will make A$70 million in revenue this year.
Co-founder Daniel Jarosch says the company is entering its next "stage of growth" and will work with APN to help "shape the future of e-commerce in Australia".
Jarosch and co-founder Rolf Weber are retaining stakes in the company.
The shopping club, which started in 2009, has more than 1.8 million members, is expanding at a rate of 70,000 customers a month and is recognised as one ofthe fastest-growing businesses across the Tasman, according to APN.
Chenoweth said the move would "substantially ramp up" APN's revenues in the digital market.
"Globally e-commerce is a marketplace which has double-digit compound growth and feels like a sector, certainly in the work we've done, that has got that sort of growth over the next few years."
Chenoweth said there would be little competition between brandsExclusive and GrabOne in Australia, as the two companies targeted different geographic areas.
GrabOne, which APN owns 75 per cent of, holds a 70 per cent share of the daily-deal market in New Zealand.
GrabOne chief executive Shane Bradley says the website gets about a quarter of a million visits a day and sells around $100 million of vouchers a year.By Hamish Fletcher @hamishfletcher Email Hamish