Scout24 owners set to announce IPO in October: sources

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 17, 2014 11:19 AM

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The owners of classified ad firm will announce plans in October to list part of their holdings in an initial public offering in Germany, two sources familiar with the transaction said.

According to the sources, the owners plan to float about 25 percent of Scout24 shares, with a potential value of 500-700 million euros ($648-907 million).

The IPO comes only months after private equity firm Hellman & Friedman and Blackstone closed a deal to acquire a 70 percent stake in Scout24 from Deutsche Telekom for about 1.5 billion euros, valuing the group at 2 billion euros or about 20 times its expected operating earnings.

Deutsche Telekom still owns 30 percent of Scout24.

The owners want to ride the current IPO wave as internet companies such as Alibaba, Zalando and Rocket Internet have announced flotation plans, the sources said.

Blackstone and Deutsche Telekom declined to comment. Hellman & Friedman was not immediately available for comment.

In July sources told Reuters that the cluster of internet portals, which includes real estate site ImmobilienScout24 and car trading site AutoScout24, had started preparations for a potential listing.

Shares in UK online property portal Rightmove currently trade at 17.7 times its expected forward EBITDA, according to Reuters data. Peer Zoopla in June also floated on the London stock exchange. The shares have risen 7 percent since and now trade at 21.7 times expected EBITDA.

(1 US dollar = 0.7715 euro)

(Reporting by Alexander Huebner and Arno Schuetze; Writing by Harro ten Wolde; Editing by Thomas Atkins and Susan Thomas)