The Myhome.ie property website has been bought by the Irish Times for €50m. The website was set up by in 2001 by estate agents Sherry Fitzgerald, the Gunne Group and Douglas Newman Good.
MyHome has probably been the biggest home grown marketing success on the web and this year expects to make a profit of €2.5m on turnover of €6.2m. In addition to residential property, the site also contains a dedicated lettings website. Over 850 estate agents advertise property throughout the country with Myhome.ie.
The site is visited by over 300,000 users each month with about 29 million page views in May 2006.
The company was put up for sale earlier in the year with a number of newspaper interests bidding for it.
The sale of the Myhome.ie to the Irish Times involves a €40m payment up front and a further €10m once certain business targets are met.
That money will be shared amongst founding shareholders. Sherry Fitzgerald has a 23.5% stake, while Gunne and Douglas Newman Good own just under 19% each. The AIB Group has an 18% stake and Myhome.ie's CEO Jim Miley owns 10%.
The company's office are located in Glasnevin in Dublin and employs 22 staff with a further three full time and two part-time staff employed by NewAddress.ie.
The Irish Times has acquired Myhome.ie as part of its strategy of developing 'a major digital media business'.
'Myhome will continue to operate on a standalone basis but availing of revenue and operational synergies which can be bought by the irish Times Group and the former shareholders,' commented Maeve Donovan, Managing Director of the Irish Times.
The Irish Times move comes just months after Independent News & Media agreed to buy PropertyNews.com, another Irish Internet property site.
The deal needs Competition Authority approval before it can be completed.