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.
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