TPI Suitors Line Up

A long list of potential suitors for Telefonica Publicidad e Informacion has emerged that invokes Claude Raines from "Casablanca": "Round up the usual suspects !" The parade of private equities whose names are listed among those at least interested in the deal includes many that have been associated with other past deals as buyers or also-rans — CVC Capital, the Blackstone Group, the Carlyle Group and so on.

Currently Telefonica, Spain’s leading telecom, owns a 60 percent stake in TPI. Telefonica, surprise, wants to offload its majority shares in TPI to reduce debt.

Also reported to be interested are France Telecom (which is the majority owner of publicly traded PagesJaunes), and Yell Group, working in concert with the private equity Apax Partners (a former part owner of Yell). Those would lead to some interested pan-European combinations.

TPI, a public company, is the dominant directory player in Spain, with a large and growing presence in directories in Latin America. It also recently launched a competitive DA business in Italy.

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