REA Group sells portal in $15m deal

REA Group has sold a real estate portal and magazine, while also backing an anti-homelessness initiative.

The Australian-based group has divested itself of two Hong Kong assets: squarefoot.com.hk, the city’s number two portal, and Squarefoot magazine.

The buyer was iProperty Group, which already owned Hong Kong’s number one portal, gohome.com.hk, and which has other sites covering Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Macau.

REA Group was remunerated with five million new iProperty ordinary shares, each valued at $3, which has increased REA Group’s shareholding in iProperty Group to 19.9 per cent.

REA Group chief financial officer Owen Wilson has also joined the iProperty board as part of the transaction.

This deal comes a month after REA Group’s main Australian rival, Domain, signed a partnership with PropertyGuru, a Singapore-based portal.

Meanwhile, REA Group’s local portal, realestate.com.au, has taken a stand against homelessness by forming an alliance with Melbourne support group HomeGround Services.

The support of realestate.com.au is expected to benefit up to 300 women and children through the establishment of a national rapid rehousing fund.

The initiative will divert women and children away from homelessness and into housing that is safe, secure, affordable and permanent.

HomeGround Services chief executive Heather Holst said domestic violence had forced 5,000 women and children on to the streets in the past year.

“The support of realestate.com.au will increase our capacity to identify and manage more affordable housing stock to assist in alleviating and preventing homelessness,” Dr Holst said.

“It will be of significant benefit to women and children escaping family violence with funds available to rapidly rehouse these families in the private rental market.”

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