German media company Georg von Holtzbrinck has purchased Habostorta, one of Hungary's biggest internet portals, for a reported Ft 500 million in cash, national daily Népszabadság reported on Wednesday.
Habostorta was set up in 2000 by gallery owner Tamás Kieselbach with three managers of brokerage Concorde. The dotcom bust followed just weeks after the portal was established, but the owners decided to continue operating the portal, creating a lean business model with a minimum number of staff and a maximum number of hits.
Habostorta expects revenue of Ft 150 million-Ft 200 million in 2006, 80% of it from advertising and the rest from text message services. The site now has about 200,000 visitors a month. Many of the pages produced by the portal's staff require little upkeep, such as dating website Randivonal, which now boasts half a million registered users.
Habostorta started looking for a buyer at the beginning of the summer, managing director Péter Weiler told the paper. It found Holtzbrinck with the assistance of Concorde. Weiler said Holtzbrinck will leave Habostorta's staff in place, but will expect profits in future. Holtzbrinck publishes Die Zeit, Handelsblatt and Tagesspiegel in Germany. In the US it publishes Nature and Scientific American.