UK information firm Yell Group completes Moonfruit acquisition

UK digital services provider Yell Group plc (LON:YELL) said on Wednesday its unit Yell Ltd had closed its recommended cash bid to take over online shop builder Moonfruit Ltd.

In mid-May, the company announced it had agreed to acquire Moonfruit for about GBP18m (USD28.1m/EUR22.4m) in a drive to transform itself from being a print and online advertising provider for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) into a leader in the emerging domestic eMarketplace.

The transaction strengthens Yell’s capabilities in the website construction, proofing and editing fields, it said at that time. The deal also complements the company’s previous acquisition of multi-store ecommerce specialist Znode.

The buyer has agreed to pay retention bonuses of up to GBP5.2m to key Moonfruit management following two years if they remain under Yell employment. The takeover was funded from existing cash resources.

According to the target firm’s CEO Wendy Tan-White, being part of Yell’s local eMarketplace gives Moonfruit access to wider audiences and more resources.

Moonfruit, co-founded by Tan-White, COO Joe White and CTO Eirik Pettersen, launched its website in 2000 and since then became the platform for the creation of nearly five million other websites and 230,000 online shops. As at the end of 2011, the value of the assets being acquired was GBP4.88m.

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