March 28, 2019 / 10:52 AM / 7 months ago

Scout24 take-private backed with €2.7bn of leveraged loans

LONDON, March 28 (LPC) - Private equity houses Hellman & Friedman and Blackstone’s potential acquisition of German online classifieds group Scout24 will be backed with €2.72bn of leveraged loans, it was announced on Thursday.

The buyout duo launched a tender to buy Scout24 on Thursday, offering €46 per share in cash, valuing Scout24 at €5.7bn.

The financing is split between a €1.87bn term loan B and a €600m second lien facility. There is also a €250m revolving credit facility.

ABN Amro, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Nomura and UniCredit have underwritten the senior facilities.

The banks will look to syndicate the term loan B to institutional investors in Europe’s leveraged loan market, banking sources said.

The second-lien facility has been provided by BSOF Master Fund, HPS Investment Partners, PSP Investments and Travertine Investment.

The weighted average interest rate will be around 5.53% over Euribor, with a 0% Euribor floor.

The tender runs to May 9 and completion of the offer is subject to a minimum acceptance threshold of at least 50% of all Scout24 shares, plus one Scout24 share.

Scout24 expressed an interest in March in part of eBay’s digital classifieds business, including German used-car portal, as eBay comes under pressure from activist investors.

Hellman & Friedman and Blackstone bought a 70% stake in Scout24 from Deutsche Telekom for about €1.5bn in February 2014, when Deutsche Telekom retained a 30% stake.

That buyout was backed with €695m of first and second lien leveraged loans, according to LPC data. The private equity firms took it public in 2015.

Scout24 is a cluster of internet portals which includes European car trading site AutoScout24 and real estate site ImmobilienScout24. (Editing by Christopher Mangham)

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