The TradeMe sale: why wasn’t a Kiwi doing the buying?
When Sam Morgan sold TradeMe, the local, easier-to-use rival to eBay in New Zealand, for NZ$700 million, the Minister of Finance, Dr Michael Cullen, took credit. His view was that thanks to his economic genius, conditions were right for TradeMe to be acquired by the Australian publishing group Fairfax, which owns a bunch of newspapers as well.
No one asked Dr Cullen the obvious question (well, I did, at the Thorndon blog, but my comment never appeared): if the economy were so rosy, why wasn’t it TradeMe doing the acquisition? Because, Dr Cullen, the conditions are not there.
Now there is a company worth $700 million in the hands of foreigners. Not that I mind on a personal level. Aussies are decent people. I have yet to meet one I dislike, though I’d hate to run into some of the blokes Markoos has been blogging about lately.
Why moan about it? Well, I am not convinced that foreign ownership does this country much good, even if the Minister thinks it does.
Joanne Black writes in the New Zealand Listener about the sale, and about how she had tiny budgets when she worked for Fairfax. True: I know a lot of Fairfax journalists, and there never seems to be any money in it for them. Their pay is pretty crappy. Now they hear that there was $700 million sitting in the coffers. How? Because, naturally, proﬁts should rightly go to the investor. I do wonder how Fairfax journos feel about that though, given prior protestations of insufﬁcient funds.
Thus, TradeMe’s proﬁts could have stayed in New Zealand, but not any more. Dr Cullen has just done himself out of a company that could have contributed nicely to our tax coffers.
The collapse continues: ﬁrst the currency, and now the encouragement of revenue slipping away.
I am ﬁne with the global economy—I rely on it—and I realize these deals happen daily. But for a politician to take credit for it and tell us it’s a good thing—well, he should have stayed out of it and not attempted to make political gain. This is Sam Morgan’s moment to shine and he should be applauded for building up a business that has made him a multi-millionaire—not for someone to come in and take credit for being so benevolent in providing him with the right economic climate.
On the plus side, Sam’s Dad, Gareth, who netted NZ$47 million through the sale, announced Monday he’s giving it all away to charity.
Del.icio.us tags: New Zealand | politics | economy | TradeMe Posted by Jack Yan, 21:45
Tried lixtor.co.nz or zillion.co.nz? They are supposedsly owned by kiwis :P
# posted by Anonymous: 8/24/2006 12:01:00 AM
zillion admin/mods are as bad as trademe staff with their bullying of users and nasty trademe users like vix.tribe and pupypowa also use zillion.These lowlife scum (and their friends) need to be put behind bars for their crimes against other trademe usersPost a Comment
# posted by Anonymous: 9/17/2008 06:46:00 AM
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