After 3x Ipreo Deal, More Fund III Sales Likely For VSS

Veronis Suhler Stevenson scored a welcome return on its sale of capital markets data provider Ipreo LLC to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., which was one of the largest investments the media-focused shop made with its $1 billion, 1999-vintage third fund.

The firm also continues to hold three other investments in Fund III and will likely look to unload at least two of them over the next year or two, a source close to the firm told sister magazine Buyouts. The firm has not started any sale processes, however, the source said.

One of the three remaining companies in Fund III is Access Intelligence LLC, a Rockville, Md.-based information and marketing company serving the aerospace, communications, energy, and health care industries. Veronis Suhler Stevenson bought the company for $100 million in 2000. Another Fund III company is User-Friendly Phone Book LLC, a yellow pages directories publisher based in The Woodlands, Texas. The firm bought the company in 2003 and has since expanded it with several add-on acquisitions.

The third remaining investment from Fund III, and one not ripe for sale, is a minority stake in Ebiquity, a London-based media and marketing data analysis company that trades on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM market for smaller companies. Veronis Suhler Stevenson obtained its stake in the company last year, when it sold Xtreme Information Services, a UK-based advertising monitoring business that it had held since 2001, to Ebiquity in exchange for the stake.

Ipreo provides market intelligence and transaction software for equity and debt issuers, buyers and investor relations professionals. KKR agreed to buy the New York-based company, which generates around $35 million of EBITDA, for around $425 million on May 23. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter.

Veronis Suhler Stevenson generated about 3x its investment in Ipreo, which was formed in 2006 but which is an investment that dates back to 2003 for the firm. Altogether, Veronis Suhler Stevenson invested a little less than 10 percent of its $1 billion third fund in the company, a source close to the firm told Buyouts. That would put its equity investment at around $100 million.

“Given where we were in our investment cycle, we thought it could prove to be a great outcome for us,” Scott Troeller, a partner at Veronis Suhler Stevenson, said of the sale to KKR.

News of the Ipreo sale comes less than a year after the firm generated another successful Fund III exit. In August, the firm generated about 2.5x its invested capital when it and co-investor GMT Communications Partners sold Pepcom GmbH, a German cable television operator, to STAR Capital Partners.

Bernard Vaughan is a senior editor at Buyouts Magazine. Follow him on Twitter @BVaughanReuters. Follow Buyouts on Twitter @Buyouts.