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Yahoo sells Kelkoo to U.K. private-equity firm

Christmas comes early for Yahoo, according to a TechCrunch report, as the ailing Internet search company sells its comparison-shopping to Jamplant for less than $125 million.

Yahoo has sold its European comparison-shopping site Kelkoo to private-equity investors, according to a TechCrunch report.

Yahoo, which acquired Kelkoo for approximately 475 million euros ($579 million) four years ago, reportedly sold its wholly owned subsidiary for less than 100 million euros to U.K. private-equity firm Jamplant this holiday shopping season.

In a copy of an e-mail obtained by TechCrunch, Glen Drury, Kelkoo's managing director for the United Kingdom, had this to say about the organization's sale and rumors about its future. The "Toby" he mentions is apparently Toby Coppel, who heads up Europe for Yahoo, and "Laila," who co-signed the letter, is apparently Kelkoo's Laila Dahlen:

It has been since summer since I gave you update e-mail. I have waited because there are so many things nearing launch that I thought it best to wait till they had happened to give the update.

Firstly, I would like to end the speculation from the last few months about the future of Kelkoo. Both Toby and I have announced that we were exploring strategic options for the business. One of the options that Laila and I were exploring, in fact pushing for, was to find it a new home for Kelkoo. I am pleased to announce, today, that we have done just that!

The new owners of Kelkoo are a U.K.-based private-equity company called Jamplant, funded by several angel investors, and in their own words: "Jamplant Limited is very excited about the price comparison space, and being able to help Kelkoo continue its rapid growth.

Philip Smyth, chairman of Jamplant, believes that with our backing, Kelkoo should be able to accelerate its growth much faster as a standalone company. We are looking forward to working with the highly experienced and established management team at Kelkoo."

Laila and I are also very excited about this new phase in the history of Kelkoo, accelerating the growth strategies we have put in place over the last year, and exploring new opportunities for all of us.