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.
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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.”
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.