[photopress:soufun.jpg,full,alignright]Seems strange that the Australian telephone company Telstra — part-owned by the government and hardly ever in agreement with it — has announced the $US254 million purchase of a Chinese online real estate business. The fairly newly arrived CEO of Telstra, Sol Trujillo, announced this in a very rushed telephone hook-up conference call. As in getting six minutes notice to take the call and ask intelligent questions.
Telstra CEO Sol Trujillo and enterprise and government MD David Thodey announced that Telstra has taken a 51 percent stake in China’s SouFun Holdings. Founded in 1999 by current CEO Vincent Mo — and largely funded by IDC of the US — the business claims to be China’s number one real estate advertising web site.
American Sol Trujillo said, ‘This acquisition provides high growth opportunities for our Sensis advertising business which will manage SouFun. SouFun provides an attractive entry point into China, one of the world’s fastest growing economies, allowing Sensis to leverage core capabilities into a larger, faster growing and less mature market than Australia, with high performing, internationally experienced local management.’
It does not seem, to a casual observer, to be a marriage made in heaven.