netus announces management buyout


Netus announced today, Friday 25th May 2012, that management had bought their joint venture partner, NEWS Ltd out of their netus shareholding. Going forward netus will be wholly owned by the management team at netus.

Stephen Rue, Chief Financial Officer, of NEWS Ltd commented "Our relationship with the management team has been informative and valuable. Netus has also created some very valuable companies now operating in the Australian market. However going forward we want to focus our resources on larger opportunities than those within the scope of netus. We wish Daniel and the team well as they continue to develop exciting and successful internet startup companies".

Chairman of netus, Daniel Petre, said "NEWS has been an outstanding and supportive partner during the last nearly 6 years. They have allowed us the scope to pursue the opportunities we felt appropriate and they have always supported our approach and investments. I am pleased that we have delivered an IRR of over 50% during the period but understand that NEWS wants to focus on larger investment opportunities in the digital space".

In regards to the future Mr Petre said “Now that we have clarity over the structure of netus going forward, we are going to ramp up our effort with regard to engaging in new partnerships with high potential consumer web businesses.”

Any questions should be forwarded to netus Chairman, Daniel Petre


netus - the next phase


published March 2011

On completing its fourth exit this week and entering its 6th year of operation, Daniel Petre, Executive Chairman, announced a refocus of netus.

"Over the past 5 years we have undertaken 9 investments. Of these we have exited four;

  1. (returning 3 X our initial investment at an IRR of 91%)
  2. ReachLocal (returning 5 X our initial investment at an IRR of 80%)
  3. Tantalus Media (we have recouped 60% to date with further returns to come)
  4. Switchwise (returning 3 X our initial investment at an IRR of 48%)

The remaining portfolio of five businesses (comprising of Downstream Marketing, Allure Media, Buyster, The Video Company and OurDeal) is performing well and is now at a relatively mature stage of development.

Our model has always been to build start-ups to the point where they can be acquired by more mature businesses whose appetite for risk and ability to nurture entrepreneurial businesses is lowers than ours. Several businesses in the remaining portfolio are now attractive to third party buyers.

At the same time, the opportunity for building further businesses has changed. Going forward, we need to be ever more focused on execution, as well as investment. For netus, the sweet spot for investing has always been in partnerships where execution matters as much as investing. Going forward it is likely that we will be focussing on investments requiring smaller amounts of capital, where we can bring to bear our unique operational skills and experience, and we will look to apply this resource to a small portfolio of very high growth entities.

To reflect this, our processes and team need to evolve.

Firstly after five year as Executive Chairman I have decided to step back to the Chairman role. Secondly I am pleased to announce that Alison Deans will step up to the role of CEO of netus. I have had the pleasure of working with Alison at ebay, ecorp and now at netus, and she will be an outstanding CEO for netus.

As we will be focusing on smaller investments and not significantly growing the size of the portfolio under management, Craig Blair has decided to leave. Craig's interest is in engaging in an investment or media company with larger digital investments and so he has, sadly, decided to pursue opportunities outside of netus. Craig has been a wonderful member of the netus team and we will miss his significant contribution.

I am pleased to also announce that Guy Reypert will assume the role as head of Business Development for netus. Guy has added a lot of value to the group since his arrival nearly two years ago and I look forward to working with him in his new role."

Any questions should be forwarded to Daniel Petre