Cherry Media, the baltic daily deals group, announces it has acquired CityLife in Latvia, now giving Cherry Media a greater than 50% market share across the Baltic countries. Both the Cherry.lv and CityLife.lv brand names will be kept and marketed in Latvia, as the acquiring company explains historically there has been little market overlap between the sites. The deal was implemented via stock swap, with CityLife shareholders becoming shareholders of Cherry Media, and Cherry Media turning into the sole shareholder of CityLife.

Girts Slavins, who has been heading Cherry.lv in Latvia until the merger, is now joining Cherry Media Group regional management team and will be responsible for implementation of strategic pan-Baltic projects. In 2011 the gross sales turnover of Cherry Media Group daily deals portals in the three Baltic countries exceeded 12 million euros, while CityLife had gross sales turnover of 2.8 million euros in Latvia.

“This step further reinforces the position of Cherry Media as the clear market leader in all three Baltic countries,” said Aldas Kirvaitis, CEO of Cherry Media Group. “Our daily deals sites Beta.lt and Grupinis.lt enjoy a combined 60%+ market share in Lithuania and Cherry.ee accounts for 54% of the entire Estonian daily deals market. Now that we have combined forces of Cherry.lv and CityLife in Latvia, our market share in Latvia has increased to around 50%.”

Another recent development is that Cherry Media has banned daily deals aggregators in Lithuania since March, citing brand dilution. Aldas Kirvaitis of Cherry Media explains:

“Market studies we have commissioned confirmed in December that Beta.lt and Grupinis.lt, our market-leading daily deal sites in Lithuania, are not only best known to consumers but also enjoy the highest consumer trust ratings among daily deals sites. We have worked hard to earn that trust and we value it greatly – thus we don’t want the brand names of Beta.lt and Grupinis.lt to get diluted by allowing our daily deals to be displayed in the same bucket with offerings of numerous competitors, many of which are of questionable quality.”

The company says that they have seen an increase their unique monthly user audience, leading them to believe the have made the right decision.