NZ Sale Appears Close at Hand – Update

The latest news on the sale of Yellow Pages Group (New Zealand) is that a partnership of the private equity KKR and Australia’s Seven Network has made a final offer of about NZ$2.2 billion, which is about 9 times the company’s 2006 revenues. Here is an article dated March 23 from Bloomberg. Here is something from Forbes noting the impact the looming bid deadline had on Telecom’s stock price.

KKR has been in the directory business before, having done well in taking Canada’s YPG off the telecom’s hands and profitably transforming it into a unit trust.

Seven Network is an Australian broadcasting company that is also one of Australian Yellow Pages publisher Sensis’ strongest online media rivals, through its investment in Yahoo!7. Sensis had been among those with an initial interest in the New Zealand operation, but withdrew when it decided the bidding had gotten too rich for its blood.
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UPDATE: On Monday (March 26) Telecom announced that the winning bidder for the directories business was a private equity consortium consisting of CCMP Capital and Teachers’ Private Capital, the private investment arm of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. The sale price was NZ$2.24 billion.

This group emerged to beat out the presumed lead bidder, a partnership of KKR and the Australian broadcaster Seven Network.

Plenty of coverage of the deal online today. Here is one example. Here is another.

TKG will write about the deal and its implications in this week’s Local Media Journal.

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