HIG Capital Buys Stake in VNU Media

LONDON (Reuters) – Alternative asset manager HIG Capital has secured a stake in Netherlands-based publisher VNU Media alongside previous owner private equity firm 3i (III.L), HIG said on Monday.

The new investment finalises a restructuring of VNU Media’s debt, said HIG, a specialist in investing in financial restructurings.

3i acquired VNU Media in a 300 million euro ($427.4 million) buyout in 2007, which saw the company take on about 200 million euros of debt.

HIG and 3i have together underwritten an equity investment of 17.2 million euros in VNU and helped secure a “significant” reduction in the company’s debt, HIG said. HIG and 3i will now own equal stakes in VNU Media.

“Although the downturn has impacted our revenues, the company has remained profitable and we expect to be able to grow EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) margins further when the markets recover,” said VNU Media Chief Executive Erik Hoekstra. ($1=.7019 Euro)

(Reporting by Tom Freke; editing by Simon Jessop)