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Naspers Plans $570M Merger

South African media and e-commerce firm Naspers Holdings will merge two of its Russian Internet sites with rival in a deal worth at least $570 million, the Financial Times reported Tuesday.

Cape Town-based Naspers, which has transformed itself into a $29 billion Internet powerhouse by buying business in fast-growing markets, plans to merge its and classified sites with Avito, the FT said in its online edition.

The deal, which would create the world's third-largest classified website, would also include Naspers investing $50 million in cash into Avito, giving it an 18.6 percent stake, the paper said.

After the deal, Avito is likely to hold a 25 percent share of the Russian classified market in terms of traffic, the paper said. No one was immediately available for comment at Naspers.


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