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21st March 2013
MECOM GROUP PLC
Sale of AutoTrack
Mecom Group plc ("Mecom" or the "Group") today announces that its Dutch subsidiary, Wegener Nederland B.V. ("Wegener") has agreed the sale (the "Sale") of its online automotive classifieds business, AutoTrack, to De Persgroep Nederland B.V. ("De Persgroep"). Aggregate consideration on a debt- and cash-free basis is €26 million, and is payable in full at completion, subject to adjustment if necessary through a customary completion accounts process. The transaction valuation equates to a multiple of over 7 times 2012 EBITDA.
AutoTrack.nl is the market leading automotive classified website in the Netherlands, with 4,800 dealer subscribers and approximately 1.2 million unique users per month. In the year ended 31st December 2012 AutoTrack generated profit before tax of approximately €3 million, and as at 31st December 2012 its gross assets were valued in the Group's consolidated accounts at approximately €3 million. The AutoTrack business is owned by Wegener Digital B.V. ("Wegener Digital"), a subsidiary of Wegener, and the Sale will be effected by way of a transfer of Wegener Digital's shares. AutoTrack's Managing Director, Sander van den Hout, will remain with Wegener Digital following the Sale.
As part of the Sale, De Persgroep will also acquire the intellectual property rights to the Jobtrack brand name and related internet domains, which are currently owned by another Wegener subsidiary.
Wegener has today also entered into a separate commercial agreement with De Persgroep, under which De Persgroep has acquired the right to buy future advertisement space in the print and online media of Wegener against a down payment of €2 million.
The Sale is subject to the terms and conditions of a share purchase agreement, and is conditional upon, amongst other things, the completion of consultation processes with the works councils of Wegener and De Persgroep in compliance with Section 25 of the Dutch Works Councils Act. Mecom and De Persgroep would expect to complete the Sale as soon as practicable after receipt of a satisfactory advice from both works councils. Mecom expects to use the proceeds of the Sale to continue to pay down outstanding bank borrowings.
Stephen Davidson, Executive Chairman of Mecom, said:
"I am delighted that we are today able to announce the disposal of AutoTrack at a valuation which reflects the significant achievements of our Dutch team in developing this digital brand from scratch into a well-respected market leader. This transaction is a positive step towards our objective of maximising shareholder value through the Strategic Review process."
Mecom Group plc 020 7925 7200
Stephen Davidson, Executive Chairman
Henry Davies, Group Finance Director
Rabobank International +31 30 712 4531
Independent Capital Partners +31 20 575 2760
Rob van Schaik
Pendomer (PR Advisers to Mecom) 020 3603 5220
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