New Future for European Directories
London 10/12/2012 - European Directories is today announcing that a new capital and ownership structure for the business has been agreed.
The key points of the agreement are:
Triton will contribute €15m of new equity and increase its ownership of European Directories to 50.1%
The remaining 49.9% equity will be split pro-rata amongst other Senior Operating Company lenders
Leverage is reduced from €893m to €262m; total leverage/EBITDA is reduced from 9.6x to 2.8x
A clear ownership structure that will support stronger strategic leadership
The agreement is supported by 100 per cent of the senior lenders to European Directories and follows a plan that was put forward by the Triton funds and the ad-hoc group (consisting of selected lenders) in the summer.
European Directories will now benefit from a clear ownership structure with the Triton funds as the majority investor. Triton has an established record of working with management teams to improve the performance of under-performing businesses. Examples include: Bravida, the Sweden-based installation services provider that was sold in 2012; and Dematic, a Germany-based supplier of materials handling solutions.
Paul Walker, the outgoing Chairman of European Directories, said:
"Today's announcement concludes a period of uncertainty for European Directories. Although the business still faces a challenging future, the fact that we have secured an appropriate capital structure and clear governance for the business means that the company can move forward. We can with confidence address the operational opportunities and challenges the business faces.
I am reassured that the company will benefit from Triton's experience in managing complex situations and businesses. I am pleased that Triton and the other lenders were able to agree on a fully consensual solution"
Peder Prahl, Director of the General Partner of Triton Fund III said:
"We are pleased to have reached a consensual solution that puts European Directories on a sound financial footing. The agreement will put an end to the uncertainty that has hampered the business's ability to respond to the challenges of a rapidly changing market.
Although the business continues to face a number of challenges which must be overcome, we are confident that there is a future for the business as a leading player in local search and lead generation in its respective markets."
About European Directories
European Directories is a pan-European local search and lead generation company with main operations in Finland, the Netherlands, Austria, Sweden and Poland. European Directories provides local commercial search for customers and lead generation to advertisers through a variety of print, online, mobile and voice products. The company has approximately 4,000 employees.
For more information: http://www.europeandirectories.com/home.html
The Triton funds invest in and support the positive development of medium-sized businesses headquartered in Northern Europe - with a focus on Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the four Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Within this European region, Triton focuses on businesses in the Industrial, Business Services, and Consumer / Health sectors.
Founded in 1997, Triton seeks to pro-actively contribute to the building of better businesses for the longer term. Triton and its executives wish to be agents of positive change towards sustainable operational improvements and growth. The 23 companies currently in Triton's portfolio have combined sales of approximately €11.9 billion and over 46,000 employees.
The Triton funds are advised by dedicated teams of investment professionals based in Jersey, London, Germany, Luxemburg, China and Sweden.
For further information: www.triton-partners.com