eBay acquires mobile.de

Granville Baird Capital Partners is to realise its investment in mobile.de, a classified ads website for German vehicles. eBay will acquire the business for €121m in cash subject to regulatory approval in Germany. The deal, which will return around four times the original amount to investors, is expected to complete in Q2 2004.

mobile.de was the first investment made by Granville Baird Capital Partners from its offices in Hamburg, Germany. The firm has invested €8.8m in the company since its original funding in 1999 and has supported the business during a period of significant growth. Between 1999 and 2003 the number of vehicles advertised at any one time has risen 14 times to around 800,000 from 55,000; the average number of visits to the site per month has increased 32 times to 22 million and the number of associated car dealers has increased by 10 times to around 8,000.

David Martin, managing director at Granville Baird Capital Partners, said: “Back in 1999 we recognized that mobile.de had a business model which was highly likely to succeed as the Internet developed.

The management team has contributed a rare combination of technical and marketing skills, underpinned by their experience in used vehicle sales to support the development of the business.”