* IPO could come only months after acquisition of the asset
* Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse expected to organise IPO -
* Flotation could come as soon as late 2014 - sources
(Adds peer performance)
By Sophie Sassard, Arno Schuetze and Freya Berry
LONDON/FRANKFURT, July 31 Private equity firm
Hellman & Friedman has started preparations for a potential
stock market listing of Scout24, just months after buying the
German classified advertising group from Deutsche Telekom
, three sources familiar with the matter said.
The investment firm has chosen STJ Advisors to organise the
process, in which Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse
are expected to act as global coordinators with the
help of Jefferies, JP Morgan and Barclays, they
Investment banks that have been invited to pitch are also
being asked to present other ideas on what to do with the
cluster of internet portals, which includes real estate site
ImmobilienScout24 and car trading site AutoScout24, one of the
"They want to take advantage of the market while it is
there," another source monitoring the process said.
In February Hellman & Friedman closed a deal to acquire a 70
percent stake in Scout24 for about 1.5 billion euros ($2
billion), valuing the group at 2 billion euros or about 20 times
its expected operating earnings.
In a share listing, which could take place as soon as later
this year or in early 2015, Scout24 may be valued at roughly the
same level, the sources said, although final pricing would
largely depend on market conditions and the performance of
Shares in UK online property portal Rightmove
currently trade at 17.2 times its expected forward EBITDA,
according to Reuters data. Earlier this year, peer Zoopla
also floated on the London stock exchange.
Stocks of newly listed internet groups have had a mixed
performance so far this year.
While shares in Zoopla have risen 8 percent since
their flotation, shares in Spanish online travel agency eDreams
Odigeo have plunged 56 percent and shares in British
online domestic appliances retailer AO World have lost 48
percent since their debuts.
In Germany at least three other internet groups are
currently preparing for stock market listings, with some
expected to come through later this year.
Rocket Internet, the German venture capital group behind
dozens of online start-ups, is planning for an IPO as is one of
its biggest investments, online fashion retailer Zalando
German publisher Axel Springer SPRGn.DE has also started
preparations to float its online classified advertising unit.
The size of a potential listing of Scout24 has not yet been
decided, one of the people familiar with the matter said, but
added that initially the investor might float a stake of as
little as 20 percent. "But that will really depend on demand".
"An IPO would give Hellman & Friedman the opportunity to
have a listed asset and sell down in due course," the person
Scout24, the advisors and Deutsche Telekom declined to
comment, while STJ and Hellman & Friedman were not immediately
available for comment.
(Additional reporting by Alexander Hübner; Editing by Greg