BC Partners has agreed to acquire puzzle publisher Keesing Media Group from Ergon Capital and Mediahuis.
BC is currently investing from its 11th-generation BC European Capital XI, which held a first close on €4bn in September 2020. The fund is expected to be investing in European companies with enterprise values greater than €300m.
BC is confident that Keesing is well positioned to benefit from the increased focus on brain training and mental wellbeing, according to a statement. This investment will support digital expansion, organic growth initiatives in its existing geographies – France, the Netherlands, Germany and the UK – as well as consolidation in the European market and entry into new continents.
Ergon mandated ING and DC Advisory to run a strategic review of Keesing in March. At the time, Ergon was marketing the company based on EBITDA of approximately €35m, according to Unquote sister publication Mergermarket. The enterprise value for the company was expected to be around €300m, according to Het Financieele Dagblad.
NPM Capital agreed to increase its shareholding in Keesing from 27% to a majority shareholding in 2004, through the purchase of shares from other existing shareholders. NPM had been a shareholder in Keesing since 1990.
NPM sold its stake via a €81.3m trade sale to Telegraaf Media Groep and the management in 2006. The management held a 5% stake in the company.
Ergon acquired the company in July 2017 in a transaction that valued the company at €150m on a debt- and cash-free basis. The acquisition is being supported by a €121m senior debt facility underwritten by IKB and Investec. Media company TGM also took a 30% stake in the company.
Ergon invested through the €350m buyout vehicle Ergon Capital III, closed in 2010. Ergon makes equity investments ranging from €20m to €70m.
Keesing realised nine add-on acquisitions throughout Ergon's holding period.
Founded in 1920, Amsterdam-based Keesing is a puzzle content developer. It employs 350 staff.
BC Partners – Nikos Stathopoulos (partner).
Ergon Capital – Pieter Lambrecht (partner).
Equity – Quore (corporate finance); Kirkland & Ellis (legal).
Vendor – ING (corporate finance); DC Advisory (corporate finance); Baker McKenzie (legal).
Gianpiero Lenza, Sébastien Mazella di Bosco, Petter Johnsson and Vincenzo Narciso have left the GP
Trade sale comes five years after Silverfleet acquired the metal finishing business from Equistone
Firms including Coller Capital and Adams Street backed the oversubscribed GP-led deal
Sale ends a six-year holding period for the GP, which acquired the company from Kering via Investindustrial V