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Trade Me purchases LifeDirect


Trade Me purchases LifeDirect

Trade Me has entered into an agreement to purchase LifeDirect (lifedirect.co.nz), an online insurance comparison website based in Wellington. A due diligence process has been completed, and a sale and purchase agreement was signed last week. The deal is conditional, and expected to be completed in September.

LifeDirect has been selling life and health insurance to Kiwis since 2005 and has 11 staff.

Trade Me CEO Jon Macdonald said the move into insurance stacked up well. “Online health and life insurance will be a new revenue stream for us, but we think it’s a logical move into an industry adjacent to our existing portfolio.

“As New Zealanders continue to move more of their lives online, insurance is an area where it makes a lot of sense to shop around to get a good understanding of the choices available. We believe providing consumers with a single venue to compare insurance products easily and efficiently is sound, and aligns with Trade Me’s core purpose of connecting two parties to undertake a transaction.”

Mr Macdonald said Trade Me had been impressed with LifeDirect’s smart approach and the acquisition demonstrated the online marketplace’s appetite for acquiring good businesses with lots of potential. “It’s a well-run business and has very good prospects. Like our other businesses, it’s primarily web-based, provides consumers with a useful service, and helps people make smart purchasing decisions.”

LifeDirect co-founder and operations manager Tim von Dadelszen said it was “a damn exciting time” for his team. “We’re looking forward to letting more Kiwis know about what we do, and how we can help them out in an area of their lives they may have regarded as pretty boring up until now. The mix of LifeDirect’s insurance smarts and Trade Me’s strong brand and trusted platform presents a heap of exciting opportunities.

“We’re rapt to be joining Trade Me, too. It’s an iconic New Zealand company that has used technology to empower consumers and disrupt traditional business models – we like the sound of that.”

Mr Macdonald said there were growth aspirations for LifeDirect but Trade Me would be leaving it alone to operate as a stand-alone business for the foreseeable future. “We don’t want to distract them – we want them to move fast, be flexible and keep innovating. LifeDirect has a strong team in place and we see Trade Me as adding value primarily as a source of new customers.”

The purchase price is confidential and is not material. The transaction is cash funded.

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