ProSiebenSat.1 Acquires German Price Comparison Site Verivox

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ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG acquired German price-comparison website Verivox from a group led by Oakley Capital in the media company’s biggest-ever digital acquisition.

The German media group will pay 170 million euros ($191 million) for an 80 percent stake. An additional payment of as much as 40 million euros depends on Verivox’s operating profit this year, according to a statement from Unterfoehring-based ProSiebenSat.1. The acquisition was made through the company’s 7Commerce unit.

Verivox’s former owners, led by private-equity firm Oakley Capital, will keep a minority stake in the Heidelberg-based business, which provides online price-comparison services for utility, telecommunications and finance products as well as a search engine for real estate and used cars.

The acquisition marks ProSieben’s continued push into digital and price-comparison businesses. 7Commerce in March raised its stake in Preis24.de, which provides mobile-phone rates and smartphones. The media company, which also owns travel websites such as weg.de and rental-car platform billiger-mietwagen, is betting on rising online commerce.

Oakley Capital, which has been expanding Verivox’s offerings over the last six years, will generate a 15-times gross money multiple for the fund that bought the business and an internal rate of return of 73 percent, a performance measure that takes into account the time taken to generate a profit, according to a separate statement.

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