Private Equity Firms Buy Italian Directories Business

13 June 2003

A consortium of private equity firms will take over Italy’s Yellow Pages and Britain’s Thomson Directories after a furious bidding war.

The owner of the assets, Italian firm Seat Pagine Gialle, is splitting into two listed companies: one for its directories; the other for its TV and internet units.

A group comprising BC Partners, Permira, CVC Capital Partners and Investitori Associati has agreed to pay €3.03 billion ($3.55bn; £2.13bn) for Telecom Italia’s 61.5% stake in the directories arm. It will also offer €0.598 per share for the outstanding stock, bringing the potential cost of the deal to €5.65bn.

The sale follows Europe’s biggest ever private equity bidding battle, with three rival groupings of buyout firms also taking part.

Data sourced from: Times Online (UK); additional content by WARC staff