Cinven, Permira and Mid Europa have jointly acquired Polish online marketplace Allegro from South African media group Naspers for $3.253bn.
It is one of the largest deals in the CEE region since the global financial crisis, following the $3.6bn acquisition of Russian mobile operator Tele 2, and CVC's acquisition of brewery Anheuser-Busch InBev's central and eastern European operations, valued at $2.23bn.
unquote" understands Cinven and Permira both hold a larger stake than Mid Europa, while the actual size of their shares remains undisclosed.
Mid Europa said it has been following Allegro for years, and looked for partners with large funds to jointly make the bid. The GP said its own local and sector expertise were attributes its larger partners appreciated. The auction process was organised by Morgan Stanley and started before the summer.
According to Bloomberg, other groups of private equity firms bidding for the business were CVC Capital Partners together with General Atlantic, as well as Advent International and Hellman & Friedman.
The private equity firms see room for expansion in an underpenetrated Polish e-commerce market, and hope to drive up mobile sales. They also plan on improving the user experience in terms of purchasing and pay processes on the homepage, and consider improving Allegro's delivery service. Immediate changes to the management are not planned.
The GPs are still in the process of finalising the deal's debt packages. The acquisition will be leveraged via a combination of senior and junior tranches provided by a number of banks.
Established in 1999 and headquartered in Poznan, Allegro is an online marketplace. The business claims to have 20 million users who carry out 14 million transactions monthly. In addition, it operates Ceneo, a price comparison platform. The group employs 1,275 people.
Cinven – David Barker (partner).
Permira – Richard Sanders (partner).
Mid Europa – Pawel Padusinski (partner).
Allegro – Przemyslaw Budkowski (CEO).
Equity – Goldman Sachs International (corporate finance); Macquarie Capital (corporate finance); Clifford Chance (legal); McKinsey (commercial due diligence); EY (tax).
Seller – Morgan Stanley (corporate finance); Allen & Overy (legal); Deloitte (tax).
Fund's predecessor, Capzanine 3, also closed on its €350m hard-cap in 2013
Deal marks the second acquisition for the GP’s third vehcle, Quadrivio Private Equity Fund 3
Deal follows a similar investment in the oil exploration business earlier this year
Adveq invests €10m, while HPE Growth Capital provided the initial €20m in May