3i and Veronis Suhler Stevenson have sold the European directories business Yellow Brick Road (YBR) to Macquarie Capital Alliance Group (MCAG), a consortium of investors led by Australian investment group Macquarie, for E1.8bn. The consortium includes Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Macquarie Bank Limited, Nikko Principal Investments Limited and clients of Macquarie’s Private Bank. Senior YBR Group management will invest alongside the consortium. MCAG will acquire a 36% interest in YBR Group for E200m.
The price tag represents a return of around four times the original investment and an IRR of around 110%. YBR was recapitalised last year and returned E224m to 3i funds.
3i and Veronis Suhler Stevenson merged their three directories businesses in April 2004 to establish a pan-European directories business. The firms jointly acquired the three directories businesses between 2002 and 2004 in deals worth a combined E850m. The combined businesses included Telefoongids of The Netherlands, Fonecta of Finland, and Central Europe’s Mediatel.