Deutsche Telekom AG has agreed to sell a 70 percent stake in online classified advertising business Scout24 Holding GmbH to Hellman & Friedman at an enterprise Value of EUR 2 billion (US $2.7 billion). Deutsche Telekom is keeping a 30 percent stake. The deal is expected to close in first quarter 2014 and generate cash proceeds at the close of about EUR 1.5 billion. Goldman Sachs and Jefferies acted as financial advisors to Deutsche Telekom.
Deutsche Telekom AG (“Deutsche Telekom” or “DTAG”) announced the signing of a definitive agreement to sell a 70 percent stake in Scout24 Holding GmbH (“Scout24” or the “Company”) to Hellman & Friedman LLC (“H & F”) at an Enterprise Value of EUR 2 billion. Deutsche Telekom will retain a 30 percent stake in the Company. The transaction, expected to close in the first quarter of 2014, will generate cash proceeds at closing of approximately EUR 1.5 billion.
The transaction is subject to authority approvals and other customary closing conditions.
The partial sale of Scout24 is a cornerstone transaction for the online investment strategy pursued by Deutsche Telekom over the past decade. Under Deutsche Telekom’s ownership, Scout24 successfully developed Germany’s leading online classifieds business including the core ImmobilienScout24 and AutoScout24 franchises.
Deutsche Telekom will benefit from a meaningful participation in the future value creation of Scout24. In partnering with H & F, Scout24 will benefit from the deep experience of one of the most successful investors in Digital Media, enabling it to continue its strong track record of growth and innovation.
René Obermann, CEO of Deutsche Telekom noted: “We are extremely pleased to announce this transaction which represents the partial realization of the significant value we have created in the online investment strategy we have pursued over the last years. With Hellman & Friedman we have found the right partner to further develop Scout24. H & F is one of the leading investors in digital, internet and people businesses and has an outstanding track record in value creation with corporate partners. We are very confident in the prospects for Scout24 under the stewardship of H & F in the years to come.”
Timotheus Höttges, CFO and CEO designate of Deutsche Telekom added: “This exceptional outcome is the result of a lengthy, complex and highly competitive process that started in 2012. We chose this 70/30 partnership to allow us to deliver this outstanding result to our shareholders, while gaining the right partner for the future. We will retain a meaningful equity stake with substantial appreciation opportunity. This transaction compliments our track record of smart, value accretive deals over the last few years that bring Deutsche Telekom forward.“
Patrick Healy, Deputy CEO of Hellman & Friedman LLC said: “We are thrilled to enter this unique partnership with Deutsche Telekom and Scout24. Deutsche Telekom showed real vision when it acquired the Scout24 Group in 2004. Over the past years, Scout24 has become one of the most respected online platforms in Europe. We see tremendous growth potential for the company, and look forward to continuing the Scout24 growth story over the years to come.”
Dr. Martin Enderle, CEO of the Scout24 Group, added: “We have created a leading online company on the European market and we look forward to writing the next chapter in our story with Hellman & Friedman,” said Dr. Martin Enderle, CEO of the Scout24 Group. “With its 30 percent stake, Deutsche Telekom is showing its confidence in the future positive development of the Scout24 Group.”
Goldman Sachs and Jefferies acted as financial advisors and Hengeler Mueller acted as legal advisor to Deutsche Telekom.
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