Online freelancing, outsourcing and crowdsourcing marketplace Freelancer.com has acquired escrow services website Escrow.com for US$7.5 million ($9.58 million).
Still subject to approval from regulators, the acquisition comes on the back of Escrow.com posting net revenue of US$5 million in the 2013-14 financial year.
The purchase of the escrow site will add to the capabilities of Freelancer.com, its chief executive Matt Barrie said in a statement.
“This highly complementary acquisition will enhance the ability of our 15 million users to transact securely, and there are large opportunities for growth and synergies with core offerings. Finally, it is a strong cornerstone for entering the payments space,” Barrie said.
Brandon Abbey, president and managing director of escrow.com, said the acquisition aligns with his company’s strategy.
“We are excited to be joining the Freelancer.com group. Freelancer’s expertise in marketplaces combined with our expertise in secure online payments are an excellent strategic fit,” Abbey said in the same statement.
Quotation and allotment of shares on the Australian Securities Exchange should occur this Friday.
G-Star RAW’s global operations bail out Aussie stores
The international operations of denim fashion brand G-Star RAW have stepped in to take over the 14 existing Australian retail stores, after the company behind its local operations collapsed into administration in February.
Denim Enterprises, which trades as G-Star and previously had the rights to sell the Dutch designer’s apparel within Australia, entered voluntary administration on February 2.
The Dutch-based operations will now take over and continue to operate the stores as usual, according to a statement from G-Star RAW.
“G-Star and Australia have a special history together. Australia was one of the first international markets to embrace the brand. We have a strong and long relationship with the Australian consumer and we intend to continue to offer them great jeans” saind Stefano di Martino, president of geographies and sales for G-Star RAW.
The international business also controls the wholesale of G-Star garments in Australia through a number of retailers such as Glue Store and David Jones.
Brian Walker, chief executive of the Retail Doctor Group, previously told SmartCompany the “tension” between the two different distribution channels led to the product being flooded into the Australian market.
Shares start week with strength
The Australian sharemarket has started the week on a high, following a positive lead from Wall St last week and a boost in the price of iron ore.
“Another sharp jump in iron ore prices supported by a better than expected profit reporting season in the US look like providing another solid start to the Australian market today,” said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, in a statement.
“Time will tell whether this transpires to be a temporary short covering rally or something more significant.”
The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was up 40.6 points to 5973.9 points at 11:58pm AEST. On Friday, the Dow Jones closed up 0.12%, jumping 21.45 points to 18,080.1 points.
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