Today, Pon Holdings reached agreement with its co-shareholders in Autobytel about the acquisition of their shares, making Pon sole owner of Autobytel nl. V.O.F. Autobytel.nl, a general partnership, was a joint venture of Pon Holdings (42.5%), Holdingmaatschappij De Telegraaf (37.5%) and Achmea Deelnemingen (20%).
The joint venture dates from the end of 1999. The company operates the Internet site Autobytel.nl, a variant of the successful American web site Autobytel.com, and tailored to the Dutch market. Internationally, Autobytel.com also operates on the Canadian, Japanese, Korean, Australian, Swedish and British markets.
De Telegraaf notes that this step is in line with its earlier announcement that it intended to make further cuts in Internet activity spending. As regards the on-line car market,
De Telegraaf will focus on the further development of car sites of its own, whether or not in combination with printed media. Achmea will place a greater emphasis on the sale of financial products and services through its own distribution channels. Pon Holdings estimates that Autobytel.nl has built up such a strong market position in the Netherlands that the change in ownership structure will not affect the successful further development of the Internet product.