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Veronis Suhler Stevenson Partners with European Venture Firm 3i To Acquire KPN's Telephone Directories Provider TeleMedia for 500 Million Euros

AMSTERDAM, (November 14, 2002) ­ VS&A Communications Partners III, LP, the private equity fund affiliated with of New York media merchant bank Veronis Suhler Stevenson (VSS), and 3i, Europe's leading venture capital investor, announced that they intend to buy TeleMedia, the telephone directories company of Royal KPN N.V. for 500 million euros ($502.2 million).

This is 3i's third major buyout in this industry in Europe - the firm completed a buyout of Thomson Directories Ltd. in 1999 and partnered with Veronis Suhler Stevenson in March of this year to acquire the directory services part of Finnish Sonera.

VSS and 3i envisage significant growth opportunities for TeleMedia, in addition to continuing its solid financial track record over the past years. Similarly VSS has extensive experience in the directories sector, having engineered the buyout of Yellow Book USA, which was later sold to British Telecom for approximately $665 million.

Marco Sodi, principal and managing director at VSS, comments: "Our intended investment in TeleMedia is exemplary of our strategy and focus on the directories sector in the US and Europe. TeleMedia represents a solid platform with a firm position in the Netherlands. TeleMedia is well-positioned for further growth, both from its traditional print products and the exciting new applications in mobile and internet directories services."

Chris Graham, director and head of media at 3i in London, said: "Because of our expertise and dedication to the media industry, we are convinced that 3i and VSS are the qualified partners to enable TeleMedia to further strengthen and grow its already successful performance. Our local and global network of financial, marketing and industry experts, will support and encourage management to further develop the company in terms of market focus and to expand the existing business with the use of new technologies. This deal was executed using the combined expertise of our media and cross border transaction specialists in London and our local investment specialists in Amsterdam." ABN AMRO leveraged finance team, led by Erwin de Jong, was the sole mandate arranger.

About KPN
KPN is an international telecommunications company based in The Hague, Netherlands. Its core markets are the Benelux and Germany. KPN is market leader in the Netherlands in its core businesses: fixed network services, mobile communications and Data/IP services. In 2001 KPN reported revenues of approximately EUR 12.4 billion with an EBITDA of approximately EUR 3.6 billion (based on normalised figures).

About TeleMedia
TeleMedia is one of the leading directory companies in the Netherlands. The Company's core product portfolio includes combined white pages and yellow pages-type directories in 50 regional printed editions, CD-Rom technology and online products. The Company has become the country's fastest growing provider of directories and related services and currently has a market share of approximately 41% of the Netherlands' directories market. In the year ended 31 December 2001, TeleMedia had pro forma net revenues of approximately EUR 139 million.

About 3i
3i brings capital, knowledge and connections to the creation and development of businesses around the world. It invests in a wide range of opportunities from start-ups to buy-outs and buy-ins, focusing on businesses with high growth potential and strong management. 3i has an international network in 16 countries across three continents including offices in Europe, the USA, Tokyo, Singapore and Hong Kong.

About Veronis Suhler Stevenson
Veronis Suhler Stevenson is a leading independent merchant bank dedicated to the media, communications and information industries. VS&A Communications Partners III, L.P. (Fund III) is the third private equity fund managed by Veronis Suhler Stevenson. Capitalized at $1 billion, it is one of the largest private equity funds dedicated exclusively to investments in the media, communications and information industries. Together with Fund III's predecessor funds, VS&A Communications Partners have invested in 28 platform companies across media segments and the realized and unrealized enterprise value of these investments total over $5 billion.

For more information, please contact:
Marco Sodi, principal and managing director at VSS,
VSS Main office: , Fax:
Menno Antal, investment director 3i Europe, telephone number:
Axel Pothof, Burson-Marsteller, telephone number: or

 

 

 


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