Czech Portal Seznam Could Fetch $900 Million; Google, Apax, Warburg and Others in Fray

Czech Republic’s biggest online portal Seznam is in the process of being sold, at least the majority of it, and the price could reach as much as $900 million, according to local reports. And the names in contention to buy it include domestic media group Mediatel and Google (NSDQ: GOOG), and then on the PE side include Warburg Pincus, and Apax Partners. Goldman Sachs is the bank for Seznam and the deal could be finalized in the new few weeks, it says.

Earlier this year there were reports that Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) wanted to buy the portal. Seznam, which has about 2.1 million users a day, was founded by majority owner Ivo Lukacovic in 1996 as the first Czech online search site. Seznam expects sales of around 1.4 billion Czech crowns (55.4 million Euro) and profit exceeding 500 million crowns (19.8 million Euro) for last year.

This is not the first such deal in the country: Late last year NetCentrum, the publisher of the number-two Czech portal Centrum, sold a controlling stake to Warburg.