GREENWICH and BEIJING--General Atlantic LLC ("GA"), a leading global growth equity firm, today announced that it has agreed to invest $163 million to acquire a 19% stake in SouFun Holdings Limited (NYSE: SFUN) ("SouFun") at its IPO price from Telstra, the selling shareholder. GA will be partnering with Apax Partners ("Apax") who will invest an equal amount on the same terms. SouFun is the largest online real estate portal in China that became an NYSE-listed company on September 17, 2010. Jeff Leng, Managing Director at General Atlantic, will be joining SouFun's board of directors.
Founded in 1999, SouFun has established itself as one of the fastest-growing companies in China. The company currently maintains 63 offices across China to focus on local market needs with content coverage in 106 cities in China. SouFun has over 139,000 listings for new residential property complexes, approximately eight million listings of secondary and rental residential properties, and over 140,000 listings of commercial properties for sale and lease. In addition, the company provides over 8,000 brands and one million listings from home furnishing and improvement vendors across China.
Vincent Mo, Founder and Chairman of SouFun, commented, "We are very happy that SouFun has become a NYSE-listed company and has received investments from General Atlantic and Apax Partners, two of the world's leading private equity funds. Both GA and Apax are experienced investors in the online space. Their expertise and network will contribute to the continued success of SouFun as China's leading pure-play online real estate portal. The management is deeply committed to delivering strong shareholder value to all shareholders."
GA has been an active investor in China since 2000, with investments in several companies including Alibaba Group, Oak Pacific Interactive (RenRen.com), ZhongSheng Group (HKSE: 881), Wuxi Apptech (NYSE: WX) and Lenovo (HKSE: 992).
Jeff Leng, Managing Director and head of China operations at General Atlantic, said, "We have been very impressed with the leadership of Vincent, the strength of SouFun's team and Soufun's dominant market position. The company has a clear competitive advantage in online real estate advertising and listing market. The opportunities for continued growth and expansion are tremendous. Expanding the existing network of cities, leveraging their user base for additional product/service offerings and enhancing their technology to continue to scale are just few of the exciting new opportunities ahead. We look forward to a strong and productive partnership."
"As the leading real estate internet portal in China, SouFun is very well-positioned to continue to expand due to their broad geographic coverage and highly scalable business model," added Jing Hong, Principal with General Atlantic. "We are excited to be partnering with a management team that has such deep experience and a proven track record."
A leader in recognizing the transformative potential of technology and the internet, General Atlantic has invested nearly $2.0 billion in leading media and consumer companies since 1995. Notable current and prior investments in the ecommerce space include Alibaba Group, Oak Pacific Interactive, Gilt, MercadoLibre, Priceline and E*trade.
GA invests in the $2 billion range on a global basis, with an average investment size of just over $200 million in 2010. In addition to the media and consumer sector, General Atlantic focuses on providing growth equity globally to emerging leaders in health care; energy and resources; business services and technology; and financial services.
About SouFun Holdings Limited
SouFun Holdings Limited (NYSE: SFUN) is the leading real estate Internet portal and home furnishing and improvement website in China in terms of the number of page views and visitors to its website in 2009. SouFun obtained advertisements from 60% of online real estate advertisers among real estate information services websites in 2009 in China. SouFun has built a large and active community of users who are attracted by the comprehensive real estate and home furnishing and improvement content available on its portal and which form the foundation of its service offerings. SouFun currently maintains 63 offices in order to focus on local market needs and covers 106 cities with real estate-related content, search services, marketing and listing coverage in China. SouFun had 4,810 employees as of June 30, 2010. SouFun's former and current major shareholders include IDG Venture Capital and Telstra. Following the company's IPO on September 17, 2010, General Atlantic and Apax Partners, two well-known private equity funds, have become major shareholders of SouFun.
About General Atlantic
General Atlantic is a leading global growth equity firm providing capital and strategic support for growth companies. GA combines a collaborative global approach, sector specific expertise, long-term investment horizon and a deep understanding of growth drivers to partner with great management and build exceptional businesses worldwide. Established in 1980, GA manages approximately $15 billion in capital and has more than 75 investment professionals based in Greenwich, New York, Palo Alto, London, Düsseldorf, Hong Kong, Beijing, Mumbai and São Paulo. For further information and a listing of GA's public and private portfolio companies see www.generalatlantic.com.