Macquarie to buy the Yellow Brick Road
16/05/2005 12:05:02 PM
A consortium led by Macquarie Capital Alliance will acquire European telephone book business the Yellow Brick Road Group for $3.03 billion.
The consortium has entered into an agreement with the management and private equity owners of YBR Group under which it will acquire 100 per cent of YBR Group for 1.825 billion euro ($A3.03 billion).
Senior YBR Group management will invest alongside the consortium.
MCAG will acquire a 36 per cent interest in YBR Group for 200 million euro ($A330 million).
The consortium expects financial close to occur in July 2005, subject to competition law approvals.
MCAG chief executive Michael Cook said the consortium wanted to acquire one of the key players in the European directories sector.
"The directories market is an attractive investment sector, generally characterised by strong brand positions, stable cash flows and interesting growth opportunities," he said.
"YBR Group has built a strong position in Europe, as a result of its leading brands and products, strong relationships with incumbent telecom operators in its principal markets and exposure to growth markets."
The consortium - called European Directories SA - also includes Macquarie Bank Ltd, Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, Nikko Principal Investments Ltd and clients of Macquarie's Private Bank.
YBR Group is a European directories business, with a portfolio across eight countries.
Its products and services include printed directories, online and mobile searches and directory assistance.
The four principal business operations of YBR Group are located in The Netherlands, Finland, Austria and the Czech Republic.
YBR Group is also present in France, Slovakia, Gibraltar and - through a 50/50 joint venture - Poland.
The consortium has been advised by Macquarie Bank Ltd.
Macquarie has also arranged and underwritten debt financing for the consortium and arranged third party equity in the consortium.