This just might be a record for the shortest holding period for a private equity investing in the directories business. This morning, Yellow Pages Group announced it will buy the SuperPages Canada business, which Bain Capital had acquired from Verizon back in September for C$1.98 billion. Today, the price is C$2.55 billion.
We haven€™t yet listened to the conference call explaining the deal, but it is no secret that YPG was an eager suitor the last time this property was for sale (way back in 2004), and clearly it never gave up on the idea of creating a national platform for it print and online directories business.
It€™s worth noting that the price went up by a half billion Canadian in the time Bain owned the asset. It is also interesting that Bain took the decision late last year to close rather than sell its Eastern Canadian operations. That decision certainly makes it easier and cleaner for YPG to acquire the Bain assets, since there is now no market overlap.
And the incredibly brief holding period by Bain may suggest a general trend toward shorter holding periods. 3i and VSS have signaled a possible quick exit from Yellow Brick Road in Europe.
We will have more coverage of this deal in Local Media Journal later this week.