Newsquest Takes Stake in Freeserve Auctions
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In exchange for a 9.9 per cent shareholding, Newsquest will inject £2 million ($3.3 million) in cash, plus £10 million ($16.4 million) in advertising support.
Most significantly, Newsquest will stop using its AuctionHunter brand name for auctions, which means one less rival for Freeserve in a very competitive market.
"The merger of the AuctionHunter and the Freeserve Auctions sites will significantly enhance the value and reach of Freeserve Auctions' brand," confirmed John Pluthero, chief executive officer of Freeserve.
Jim Brown, executive chairman of Newsquest was very bullish about the deal.
"For some time Newsquest-Gannett has been progressing a UK auction site but this opportunity to link with Freeserve is a huge leap forward," said Brown.
Among Newsquest's newspaper titles are the Evening Argus and The Northern Echo, plus around 180 other with a total circulation of five million copies.
Newsquest's advertising support of Freeserve Auctions will include auction listings in classified advertising sections, together with other brand marketing.