Nach Tilllate, Partyguide und usgang.ch nun bald auch Laut&Spitz?
Lautundspitz is open to M&A talks, chief executive officer and co-owner Ronny Spitzli said. The privately-held Swiss company has been approached, is in ongoing talks and would listen to further suggestions, Spitzli said in an interview with this news service. Lautundspitz runs social network Internet portals in Switzerland, Germany and Austria. It also operates in the party arena and includes photos of local events and local communities.
Lautundspitz’ Spitzli said he has been repeatedly approached by Swiss strategic and financial players but has so far refrained from signing a deal. He noted that the company is currently in ongoing talks. The negotiations are not exclusive, and Spitzli said Lautundspitz is interested in discussing further deal options.
Spitzli said for its Swiss and German platform, he could consider entering a joint venture with a strong media partner. The company is interested in deals that might broaden the reach of the platform but the owners would like to stay on board rather than simply generate cash, he stressed. Asked whether Lautundspitz would entertain offers for a majority stake in the company, the CEO said this is “negotiable but not planned. We are entrepreneurs – but in the end, it all comes down to price.” The company is also accessible to private equity, as long as an offer comes along with a strategic proposal, he noted.
Three of Lautundspitz’ Swiss competitors have recently entered deals with major media players. partyguide.ch and usgang.ch have been acquired by German Axel Springer; tilllate.ch has entered an agreement with Swiss Tamedia, which currently owns 35% in tilllate and will increase the stake to 49% in 2010.
Spitzli pointed out that the company is currently fully equity financed. Lautundspitz’ eight years of growth have been financed by the company’s cashflow, he said. Turnover has now reached the seven-digit CHF range, according to the CEO. Lautundspitz also issues a print publication, which would be closed the day it happens to run into the red, however.
Spitzli highlighted Lautundspitz’s growth potential by saying that 12% of German advertising expenditures flow into e-businesses, while Swiss Internet advertising would account for 3% of the country’s total market. He compared these figures with the US advertising market where Internet has outstripped TV as a medium.
Lautundspitz is owned by the two founders Ronny Spitzli and Thomas Lautenschlager, each holding 35% in the company. Daniel A. Saxer owns the remaining 30%.