Takeover bid, LBO, Adevinta: the little big announcement

Published on Nov 26, 2023 at 4:40 p.m.

“No stomach is satisfied with good words.” Despite this Norwegian saying, the board of directors of Adevinta, the owner of Leboncoin, leaves the Oslo place wanting. At a time when the online clifieds platform is the target of the second largest buyout by LBO of the year – a “deal” also remarkable for the involvement of credit funds – he is not recommending anything.

According to its detailed verbatim, the price of 12 billion euros (14 billion including debt) does not reflect the full potential for value creation over the long term, while offering good monetization in the short term.

It is therefore up to shareholders to choose. And the big three, Schibsted, eBay And Permira (more than 72%) said yes, to reduce their own stock market discount, receive cash or boost a line purchased at the highest level in 2021. The others will also be able to hold certificates from the new holding company, but many of them are confined to listed shares. The minority game looks set to be tight, given the meager nature of the exchanges.

Valuation and accumulation

And the European rating shows, once again, that it has difficulty valuing growth tech stocks. The unlisted world wants to benefit from its fire sales, even if it means continuing to accumulate debt.

There is nothing to brag about, even if the price of 115 crowns per share almost makes it possible to catch up with the performance of the Norwegian index since April 2019, when Schibsted was partially split.

To note

The price of 115 Norwegian crowns per share corresponds to a premium of 34% on the price quoted just before the announcement, and of 54% over the last 3 months. It also corresponds to a valuation multiple of 17.8 times the estimated gross operating surplus for 2024, according to Bloomberg data. The premium then reaches 18% compared to three comparable stocks in Europe (Auto Trader, Scout 24 and Rightmove).

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