Tuesday, May 05, 2009

What is Cyrte's plan for Bol.com?

Short follow-up to the previous post on the sale of Bol.com.

Why does a firm like Cyrte buy a well-established webstore such as Bol.com? One has to assume that the asset was shopped around. Did Cyrte manage to pay less than the True Value? I see three possibilities:
  1. Cyrte plans to create value by running Bol.com in a better way. No chance. The Cyrte people may be smart at finance, but they are not in the business of running an online store. I know my Stravinsky, but that doesn't make me a composer.
  2. Cyrte scored a good deal and plots an exit by selling Bol.com to a greater fool. Could be. The greatest fools can be found at the stock exchange, and the IPO climate seems to be clearing. Vodafone Qatar was successful and Skype is planned for next year.
  3. Interest in Bol.com was minimal and Cyrte pensils in a sale to a trade buyer. This is the intriguing option. In theory, a party such as Amazon could always afford to pay more than Cyrte because of synergy benefits. One particular party comes to mind: the Media-Saturn-Holding, operating the Media Markt and Saturn stores in Europe and controlled by the Metro Group. The websites connected to these stores are not online stores, but that is changing. After the Summer, both chains plan to operate web stores.

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