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Yell’s acquisition of the Spanish publisher TPI was made official earlier this week. Here is the statement from Yell:

Yell Group plc ("Yell") today announced the closing of its acquisition of the Spanish directories business Telefonica Publicidad e Informacion S.A. ("TPI") on 31 July 2006. Yell secured ownership of 94.25% of the shares in TPI through
its successful public tender offer which closed on 24 July 2006.

With this acquisition done and the deal for PagesJaunes in the works, telecoms will largely be out of the directory publishing business in Europe. One exception is BT, which reentered the business as a competitive publisher just a few years after selling Yell.

What is becoming increasingly clear is that the biggest challenge facing European directory publishers is maintaining a stable print business for as long as possible as they pursue a full-fledged digital battle with the major search players.

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