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Australia's Catch Group, Lux Group join forces in e-commerce deal

Catch Group and Lux Group, Australian online retailers with a combined turnover of A$600 million, have swapped ownership of assets in a series of transactions to refocus their travel and e-commerce businesses.

The completion of the transactions, which Lux Group said Dec. 5 is the largest homegrown deal in Australian online retail, follows Amazon.com Inc.'s entry into the country.

As part of the deal, Lux Group will become a pure travel player by acquiring Catch Group's luxury travel businesses, including Bon Voyage and Scoopon Travel, to complement its existing business Luxury Escapes.

Catch Group, meanwhile, will become solely an e-commerce player with the acquisition of Lux Group's designer brand businesses, including Brands Exclusive and TheHome, which will sit along existing product platforms Catch.com.au, GroceryRun, Mumgo and Pumpkin Patch.

The two companies also formed a 50/50 independently operated joint venture that will include businesses such as Scoopon, Cudo, LivingSocial, DEALS.com.au and New Zealand-based TreatMe. Both companies will provide exclusive offerings to the vehicle.

Catch Group founders Gabby Leibovich and Hezi Leibovich will receive a 20% holding in Lux Group, which was founded by Adam Schwab and Jeremy Same.

Macquarie Capital and Clarendons Lawyers advised Lux Group, while Catch Group had Intrinsic Partners serve as financial adviser and SBA law as legal adviser.

As of Dec. 5, US$1 was equivalent to A$1.31.