PARIS (AFP) - Yahoo has sold European comparison shopping service Kelkoo to a British investment firm, Kelkoo founder and former chief executive Pierre Chappaz said Friday.
Chappaz, in a posting on his blog at wikio.fr, published a memo to Kelkoo employees from a Yahoo Europe executive, Glen Drury, announcing the sale of Kelkoo to British private equity firm Jamplant Ltd.
"Philip Smyth, Chairman of Jamplant, believes that with our backing, Kelkoo should be able to accelerate its growth much faster as a standalone company," the memo from Drury said.
Chappaz, who founded Kelkoo in 1999 but has since left, said Kelkoo was sold for under 100 million Euros (125 million dollars), significantly less than the 475 million Euros paid by Yahoo for the firm in 2004.
In his blog posting, Chappaz delivered a parting shot at Yahoo saying "the difference is the price of management incompetence that led Yahoo's share price under nine dollars."
Kelkoo, which employs 270 people in Paris, Grenoble and London, claims some 50 million users in 10 European countries.
The sale comes as Yahoo searches for a new chief executive to replace Jerry Yang, the Yahoo co-founder who announced this week that he would be stepping down after less than 18 months in the job.
Earlier this year, Yang rejected a 47-billion-dollar takeover offer from software giant Microsoft, earning the ire of many share-holders in the Sunnvale, California-based Internet company.