Technology titan Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) continues to remain active in the M&A arena, announcing today it is taking a $50 million stake in property broker Auction.com. In a statement released this morning, the company says the Google deal values Auction.com at approximately $1.2 billion. Google Capital will also receive a seat on Auction.com BoD as a part of the deal.
According to Bloomberg, other Auction.com stakeholders include Stone Point Capital LLC; Starwood Capital Group LLC and Starwood Property Trust Inc., which acquired separate stakes last year, as well as several funds managed by Fortress Investment Group LLC.
Both companies made comments on the deal earlier today. “Like EBay kind of drove transparency and created a marketplace for hard-to-find items, Auction.com is creating transparency in part of the real estate market,” David Lawee, head of Google Capital, founded last year, explained in a telephone interview. “Here, you can go on to a site and see thousands of properties that are listed for sale that would be great investment opportunities.”
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Auction.com’s co-founder and CEO Jeff Friedan emphasized that the deal is truly a partnership. “It’s a very strategic partnership,” Frieden said in an interview. “It’s about a lot more than just the money.”
Recent Google acquisitions
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has been in a buying spree for the last couple of years. The company bought Israeli mapping services firm Waze for reportedly around $1.2 billion in June of last year, and just last month announced the acquisition of Nest Labs for $3.2 billion.
Just a few weeks ago, Google Capital invested $40 million into Renaissance Learning Inc., an education-software firm. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is also a partner in a recent $125 million investment round in LendingClub Corp., a web-based peer-to-peer loan service, and it also recently joined a group of private-equity investors providing additional capital for SurveyMonkey Inc., the industry leader in online surveys.