Classifieds Site Scout24 Seeks $220 Million in German IPO

  • Real-estate and car advertising portal plans to cut debt
  • IPO market picking up in Europe after August stock slump

Scout24 Holding GmbH, the online classifieds business whose owners include private-equity firms Hellman & Friedman LLC and Blackstone Group LP, is seeking at least 200 million euros ($223 million) in an initial public offering in Frankfurt this year.

Germany’s largest real-estate and automobile portal plans to sell new shares and existing investors will also offer some stock, according to a statement Monday. The company’s shareholders, which also include Deutsche Telekom AG, intend to remain “significantly invested” after the IPO, Scout24 said. The company plans to use part of the proceeds to reduce debt.

Scout24 joins German companies including Bayer AG’s plastics and polymers unit Covestro to have announced IPO plans after the global market rout rattled investors’ confidence. Germany’s largest initial public offering from an Internet company in the past year was Rocket Internet SE, which raised about 1.4 billion euros. The stock has fallen by more than 40 percent since the listing.

The IPO market is heating up again after last month’s plunge in Chinese stocks triggered a slowdown in equity issuance. Companies in Western Europe already have announced $612.8 million of sales this month, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In August, they announced $128.2 million, the slowest month since April 2012. The September total doesn’t include Bayer’s planned sale of a stake in Covestro, since the company didn’t say in its Sept. 4 statement how big that offering will be.

In the U.K., pharmaceutical company Shield Therapeutics Plc said Monday it plans to raise as much as 110 million pounds ($168 million) in an IPO in London.

Scout24 had 2014 revenue of 342 million euros and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of 149 million euros. Deutsche Telekom sold a 70 percent stake in Scout24 to Hellman & Friedman in 2013 in a deal that valued the company at 2 billion euros at the time, including debt.

Credit Suisse Group AG and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are managing the IPO with Barclays Plc, Jefferies Group and Morgan Stanley. 

(A previous version of this story corrected Scout24’s revenue figure.)

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