We are delighted to welcome ninemsn as a significant shareholder. This is a strong vote of confidence in iSelect's business model and recognises the success that we have achieved to date. There is a strategic fit with our existing business and we believe there are considerable synergies to be gained.
Melbourne Victoria (PRWEB) April 13, 2006
Ninemsn today announced it has agreed to acquire 35 percent of iSelect – Australia's number-one health insurance comparison site based on a company valuation of approximately $40 million. Following completion of the acquisition, Ninemsn will have two directors appointed to the board.
Announcing the investment, iSelect CEO Damien Waller said: "We are delighted to welcome ninemsn as a significant shareholder. This is a strong vote of confidence in iSelect's business model and recognises the success that we have achieved to date. There is a strategic fit with our existing business and we believe there are considerable synergies to be gained."
According to Martin Hoffman, Ninemsn CEO, the acquisition demonstrates Ninemsn's commitment to the Australian online market in the rapidly developing sectors of health and finance.
"By investing in iSelect, we are investing in an Australian Internet pioneer. Online finance and health are two of the fastest growing areas of the Australian market," said Mr Hoffman.
Damien Waller said the investment comes at a time of growing momentum for iSelect. "Working closely with Ninemsn and its shareholders provides an exciting future for iSelect; we will be able to provide a greater range of services to a wider range of clients."
The investment also demonstrates Ninemsn's commitment to innovation. "Ninemsn recognises the enormous potential of the unique technology iSelect has developed, initially for the health insurance industry. It provides a platform for the comparison and recommendation of complex consumer services across a range of industries," said Mr Hoffman.
"iSelect.com.au has created one of the fastest growing destinations for consumers to compare, select and purchase a range of private health insurance products. Consumers are increasingly demanding more information prior to committing to a particular product. Working with key health insurers, together we help provide informed choices for consumers." said Mr Waller.
iSelect was formed in 2000 by Damien Waller and Dr David Urpani, who identified the potential of iSelect's unique comparison technology for the purchase of private health insurance. The investment marks an important milestone for iSelect as the business accelerates its penetration of the private health insurance market.
The acquisition marks an exciting new development for Ninemsn's corporate development following the purchase of mobile marketing solutions business 5th Finger in November 2005 and the completion of the acquisition of the content syndication publisher HWW earlier this week. Further financial terms for the acquisition were not disclosed.
Australia's number-one interactive media company has the largest online audience in Australia, with over 7.69 million people visiting each month, representing over 75 percent reach to all Australian Internet users. Formed in 1997, Ninemsn is a 50:50 joint venture between the Microsoft Corporation and PBL.
iSelect is Australia's number-one health insurance comparison site. Launched in 2000, iSelect has become the site of choice for shoppers to compare, select and save across a range of health funds. iSelect.com.au also provides a valuable, high growth distribution channel for health insurers. iSelect.com.au is based in Melbourne with over 50 staff.
For more media information:
Kate Beddoe, ninemsn: (02) 9383 6114 or 0402 248 151
Roger McBride, http://www.iSelect.com.au: (03) 9519 0111