Airtasker's Oneflare acquisition delayed after ACCC raises eyebrows

Airtasker's Oneflare acquisition delayed after ACCC raises eyebrows

Image via Airtasker.

The proposed $10 million acquisition of trades and services platform Oneflare by competitor Airtasker (ASX: ART) has been delayed after the competition watchdog started sniffing around the deal.

In a short ASX statement, Airtasker said the acquisition and settlement of an associated $6.25 million placement would be delayed as a result of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) enquiries.

“Airtasker Limited advises that it has received an enquiry from the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission with respect to its proposed acquisition of the assets of Oneflare Pty Ltd as announced to the market on 4 May 2022. Airtasker is working closely with the ACCC to address its queries,” Airtasker said.

“The company, with the consent of the underwriter, Morgans Corporate Limited, has decided to delay settlement of the equity placement announced on 4 May 2022 and completion of the Acquisition whilst discussions with the ACCC are ongoing.

“It will accordingly also delay launch of its proposed Share Purchase Plan.”

The purchase would bring together listed online services marketplace Airtasker and Domain Group-backed (ASX: DHG) Oneflare, diluting Airtasker’s shareholdings by 7.7 per cent.

Founded in 2011, Oneflare is the third largest local services platform which serves 540,000 customers and 14,500 verified businesses annually, particularly in the trade, home improvement and professional services spaces.

Airtasker, which listed on the ASX in early 2021, claimed the acquisition would enhance the customer experience and deliver synergies by giving customers a wider range of skills to draw upon.

As detailed by Airtasker, the timeline of integration would see the acquired outfit progressively combined with ART’s existing platform, with an aim to retire the Oneflare brand within 18 to 24 months.

The purchase price of $9.8 million includes $7.55 million in Airtasker shares, issued at $0.43 per share  - a 15.9 per cent discount on the company’s last trading price of $0.51 per share - and $2.25 million in cash.

Shares in ART are up 1.12 per cent to $0.45 per share at 10.58am AEST.

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