The Internet investment group Digital Sky Technology from Russia remains the most likely buyer of the leading Czech search engine and portal, Seznam, reported Prague-based radio station Radio Praha. Seznam holds more than 60% share of the Czech search market, twice as much as Google. The other potential buyers include private equity firms Warburg Pincus, owner of #2 Czech portal Centrum, and Apax Partners, which owns a stake in Central European Media Enterprises.
Seznam reported 4.2 million unique users in August 2008, ahead of news site iDnes.cz (2.9 million) and web portal Centrum.cz (2.7 million), says Prague Daily Monitor. Seznam is expected to earn revenues of ca. $90 million in 2008, up 40% from 2007.
Founded in 1996, Seznam is majority-owned by its founder Ivo Luka?ovi?. In April 2007, the private equity firms Tiger Holding Four and Miura International bought-out a 30% stake in Seznam for EUR 65 million ($91 million) from Lycos Europe, implying the company’s value of $300 million.
In 2007-08, Warburg Pincus bought-out Czech portals Centrum.cz and Atlas.cz, Croatian portal Net.hr, and Czech auto news sites cars.cz and autorecenze.cz. The sites have 6.5 million unique monthly users in total. Central European Media Enterprises acquired Blog.cz in June 2008.