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).
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