UK newspapers continue dash to buy websites

Lou Thomas
 
The dash to buy-up websites from big UK newspaper
publishers continued today as Daily Mail and General Trust bought
leading UK property website Primelocation for £48 million.
 
The purchase is the latest in a line of property
website buy-ups undertaken by the major newspaper groups. DMGT now owns
two of the major property sites after spending £13.8m on Findaproperty
in November 2004.
 
The move follows news last week that DMGT has put
its regional newspaper division Northcliffe up for sale with an
expected asking price of £1.5 billion.
 
News Corp stepped into the online property market
last month having spent £14.3m on propertyfinder.com in November 2005
and Trinity bought smartnewhomes.com in July 2005 for £11.3m.
 
The Guardian Media Group owns a stake in homes and jobs website fish4.
 
Primelocation focuses on the upper and middle
segments of the UK’s residential property market and was set up by 50
estate agents including Savills and Frank knight in 2001.
 
Andrew Hart of DMGT’s Associated New ventures
said: ‘This acquisition continues our strategy of making investments in
key areas of the online advertising market including property listings.
Primelocation will sit well alongside our existing portfolio of online
assets.”
 
Earlier this month The Daily Telegraph reported
that Primelocation and Rightmove had received approaches from major
newspaper groups.
 
Rightmove is now the only remaining big name property website that is not partly or fully owned by a major newspaper group.
 
Online business website Brand Republic claimed
earlier this month that Rightmove were uncertain about selling to a
newspaper group because estate agents were worried they would have to
pay more for advertising on the site.
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