Blackstone and Permira lead $13 billion bid for Adevinta

By Anousha Sakoui and Amy-Jo Crowley

(Reuters) -A private equity consortium including Permira and Blackstone on Tuesday said they plan to acquire eBay-backed online classifieds group Adevinta ASA for about 141 billion Norwegian crowns ($13.1 billion), in one of Europe's biggest buyouts this year.

The consortium, which include funds General Atlantic and TCV, have offered to pay Adevinta shareholders 115 crowns per share.

That represents a 52.6% premium to the volume weighted average price over the three months up to Sept. 21, before the offer became public, said Adevinta's board, which was not able to recommend the offer to shareholders.

"The company over time can generate greater value than what is reflected in the cash consideration," the board said.

The deal for Adevinta comes at a difficult time for dealmaking in Europe. It is part of a trend of transactions where private equity firms have weighed buying back public companies they previously owned or still own stakes in.

The consortium said it had support from existing shareholders in Adevinta including Schibsted and eBay, accounting for 72.3% of the issued shares in the company.

"Since our 2021 investment, we have seen first-hand the strength of Adevinta’s brands, market positions and management team, as well as the growth opportunities and challenges that lie ahead," said Stefan Dziarski and Dipan Patel, partners at Permira said in a joint statement.

Shareholders can receive cash, or a mix of cash and new shares in the emerging private entity.

As part of the deal, eBay said it would sell half of its shares for an estimated $2.2 billion and would exchange the remaining shares for an equity stake of about 20% in the new entity.

The independent committee that reviewed the offer told the consortium that the cash element of the offer should be increased in order to secure a positive recommendation by the board but the investors chose not to.

The minimum threshold for the deal is 90%. The deal is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2024, following the receipt of regulatory approvals, the bidders said.

($1 = 10.7960 Norwegian crowns)

(Reporting by Shivani Tanna in BengaluruEditing by David Goodman and Marguerita Choy)