It seems that APN News & Media company that owns GrabOne has made a new investment in an online shopping company. APN has purchased an 82% stake in brandsExclusive, an Australian online shopping club that sells clothing. brandsExclusive offers deals on clothing, shoes and accessories to its 1.8 million members in Australia.
The investment shows that APN, the publisher of The NZ Herald is serious about diverisfying their business away from print and into digital media. APN leads the way in New Zealand with stategic acquisitions in online ventures, most notably GrabOne. As newspaper advertising is on the decline, media companies need to look elsewhere to survive. Around the world, online businesses are where the big media players are shifting their focus.
APN usually buys a large controlling stake, with the founders retaining a shareholding. This is a smart idea as it ensures that the founders expertise are still retained, meaning the businesses can continue to be reliable sources of income. The brandsExclusive founders retain an 18% stake. Hopefully we might see brandsExclusive launch in New Zealand too!
UPDATE March 2014: APN/GrabOne have sold BrandsExclusive for a $34m loss just 18 months later. Read more here