Digital marketplace: TX Group, Ringier, Mobiliar and General Atlantic establish joint venture
Zurich (Switzerland) — The merger of the online marketplaces of TX Markets and Scout24 Switzerland creates a leading Swiss group in real estate, vehicles, financial services and general marketplaces. The joint venture will be one of the largest digital companies in Switzerland. All parties involved hold minority interests in the joint venture. The independent group of companies is pursuing an IPO as a medium-term goal.
TX Group brings the TX Markets platforms Ricardo, tutti.ch, Homegate and Car For You into the new joint venture. Ringier as well as Mobiliar participate by contributing the Scout24 Schweiz Group, which operates the platforms ImmoScout24, AutoScout24, MotoScout24, FinanceScout24 and anibis.ch. The fourth shareholder will be the globally active growth investor General Atlantic, which will support the group with its many years of international expertise in the field of digital marketplaces.
Lothar Lanz is appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors of the new, independent company. The experienced finance and digital expert is currently Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Home24 SE, Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board of TAG Immobilien AG and a member of the Supervisory Board of Dermapharm SE. He was also a member of the Supervisory Board of Zalando SE (President) and Axel Springer SE, among others. Previously, he was Chief Financial Officer for many years at ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE.
The Board of Directors will continue to include: Jörn Nikolay, Olivier Rihs, Michèle Rodoni, Pietro Supino and Marc Walder.
CEO of the joint venture will be Gilles Despas (photo), currently CEO of Scout24 Switzerland Group. Previously, he was Chief Digital Officer and Group Chief Marketing Officer at Thomas Cook in London, and Managing Director and CEO of Ebookers and HolidayCheck.
Combining forces to form one of the largest digital companies in Switzerland makes it possible to create a competitive Swiss marketplace offering and thus act as a pioneer in the Swiss market.
The new joint venture will combine the expertise of existing teams and digital talent to drive the development of innovative digital products and services. In this way, the increasing demands of users and customers will be served even better in the future. At the same time, the joint venture will make a significant contribution to further digitization in Switzerland.
Pietro Supino, President and Publisher of TX Group: “Our partnership with General Atlantic, Mobiliar and Ringier is the fruit of a long process. It is a big step for all parties involved, which shows a promising, digital perspective for Switzerland as a location in the increasingly international competitive environment. We are convinced that by combining our strong marketplaces, we will promote their further growth. The key prerequisite for further successful development is to increase the relevance of our services for our users. This will also enable us to offer our business customers greater efficiency directly. Together, we can expand investment in product development and our attractiveness as an employer.”
Marc Walder, CEO of Ringier: “Ringier, TX Group and Mobiliar have succeeded in bringing together their leading real estate, vehicle, financing and classifieds platforms. With General Atlantic, we are joined by a globally recognized, successful investor with extensive experience in digital marketplaces. This creates a uniquely positioned company in Switzerland. With this group, we will significantly expand our customer focus across all business areas. Through targeted investments in innovative products and services, we will meet the requirements of our customers and users even better. This shared vision drives all shareholders involved.”
Michèle Rodoni, CEO of Mobiliar: “As a leading Swiss insurance company, we strive to find solutions that enable us to strike the right balance in the long term between the rapidly growing digital offer worlds and our long-standing, successful presence with our local entrepreneurial general agencies. Thanks to our investment in Scout24 Switzerland five years ago, we have gained important insights for the development and expansion of our own offerings around housing and for SMEs. That’s why it’s absolutely logical for us to be on board and remain so when one of the leading Swiss digital marketplaces is created.”
Jörn Nikolay, Managing Director and responsible for General Atlantic’s German business: “We are proud to be able to help shape one of Switzerland’s leading digital companies together with our new partners. As a global growth investor, we bring our long-standing expertise in the strategic development of digital business models to this partnership, very specifically in the online classifieds business. We are pleased to accompany the venture in this exciting growth phase.”
TX Group AG holds 31 percent of the new joint venture, Ringier AG and Mobiliar 29.5 percent each and the growth investor General Atlantic 10 percent. The four shareholders each hold 25 percent of the voting rights.
About TX Group
TX Group forms a network of digital platforms that provides users with daily information, orientation, entertainment and assistance for everyday life. Four independent companies operate under the umbrella of the TX Group: TX Markets comprises the digital classifieds platforms and marketplaces; Goldbach stands for advertising marketing in Switzerland, Germany and Austria; 20 Minuten is the company for commuter media in Switzerland and abroad; Tamedia is leading the paid daily and weekly newspapers and magazines into the future.
Ringier AG is an innovative, digitized and diversified Swiss media company active in Europe, Africa and Asia. The portfolio includes over 110 subsidiaries in print, digital media, radio, ticketing, entertainment and e‑commerce, as well as leading digital marketplaces in automotive, real estate and jobs. As a venture capitalist, Ringier promotes innovative digital start-ups. Founded in 1833 as a publishing house and printing house, the family-owned Ringier company has consistently invested in the digitization and internationalization of the Group in recent years. In 2020, around 6800 employees in 18 countries generated sales of CHF 953.7 million. Today, 69 percent of operating profit already comes from the digital business, giving Ringier a leading position among European media companies. Ringier stands for pioneering spirit, independence and freedom of opinion.
Every third household and every third company in Switzerland is insured with Mobiliar. As of December 31, 2020, the all-line insurer had a premium volume of around 4.1 billion euros. Franks on. 80 Unternehmer general agencies with their own claims service guarantee proximity to the approximately 2.2 million customers at around 160 locations.
Mobiliar employs around 5900 people in its home markets of Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein and offers 338 apprenticeships. Founded in 1826 as a cooperative, Mobiliar is the oldest private insurance company in Switzerland. To this day, the Board of Directors of Schweizerische Mobiliar Genossenschaft ensures that the cooperative orientation of the Group is maintained.
About General Atlantic
General Atlantic is a leading global growth capital investor that has provided capital and strategic support to more than 400 high-growth companies to date for more than four decades. Founded in 1980 to partner with visionary entrepreneurs to create lasting value, the firm combines a collaborative global approach, industry-specific expertise, a long-term investment horizon and a deep understanding of growth drivers to create exceptional business models with outstanding management teams worldwide. General Atlantic currently manages more than $65 billion in assets (as of March 31, 2021); the team includes more than 175 investment professionals in New York, Amsterdam, Beijing, Hong Kong, Jakarta, London, Mexico City, Mumbai, Munich, Palo Alto, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore and Stamford, Connecticut.