The buy up of NZ companies to off shore investors has been happening quite a bit recently... I know IHUG had already previously sold to Perth based iiNet for $82 million in September 2003 but this week iiNet is again selling IHUG to Vodafone for half of what they paid just 3 years ago. IHUG has skipped from NZ owned to Aus owned to UK owned property. I have put a graph together to plot the trend over the last couple of years... I'm sure there are other high profile sales that I have missed but the trend is great for the kiwi entrepreneurs but is alarming for our industry as a whole.
In contrast the buy-up of Internet property in the US is again rearing it's head with the negotiations Google is in to buy youtube for ~2.3 Billion NZD.
It really feels like it is the year 2000 all over again! This time more cash is involved!
Some interesting comparisons from the above sales...
Trademe.co.nz was sold for ~14 times more than what Flickr.com was rumored to have sold to Yahoo for!
The TradeMe sale was ~80% of the sale price of Myspace.com.
It will be interesting to see what plays out next in the local and global game!