Scout24 yesterday announced the sale of AutoScout24 and Finanzcheck to Hellman & Friedman, an American private equity company. Hellman & Friedman is based in San Francisco, while Scout24 is listed in Frankfurt stock exchange, headquartered in Munich, and with operations in Berlin. AutoScout24 is one of the top 3 auto classifieds websites in Germany.
Hellman & Friedman is paying 2.9 billion euros for 100% of AutoScout24. Hellman & Friedman says this is the equivalent to a multiple of 26.1x on the ordinary operating EBITDA of the last twelve months as of September 2019.
Hellman & Friedman and Scout24 intend to complete the transaction in the first half of 2020. Scout24 intends to return capital to its shareholders.
“We have assessed a number of options regarding the future of AutoScout24 with an open mind. Today’s transaction allows us to realize substantial value for Scout24 and its shareholders and to grow our market-leading platform ImmobilienScout24 further. We are excited about continuing our successful journey with ImmobilienScout24. As the market leader, we believe ImmobilienScout24 is ideally positioned to build the ecosystem for real estate in Germany, and we will continue to invest into the business, its superior technology and employees to drive its next phase of growth and innovation,” said Tobias Hartmann, CEO of Scout24.
Scout24 leaves the auto business that has strong competition from Mobile.de, an auto classifieds that is generating over 50 million visits per month, while AutoScout24.de is generating over 16 million visits per month, this according to SimilarWeb data. mobile.de is owned by ebay.
Scout24 maintains the business of real state, with the website immobilienscout24.de. The website immobilienscout24.de has over 39 million visits per month, while the main competitor, immowelt.de has over 17 million. So Scout24 has the leadership in real state classfieds in Germany, which was not the case with the auto classifieds.
Scout24 will focus on ImmobilienScout24 and leave behind AutoScout24. ImmobilienScout24 is the search engine for real state in Germany.