Media companies up for grabs

GMT Communications Partners is understood to be sounding out interest in the potential sale of two of its portfolio companies, one in Spain, another in Finland.

The London based TMT specialist is assessing the market for the realisation of its majority shareholdings in Redext, a Spanish outdoor advertising group, and Asiakastieto, a Finnish provider of business and credit information.

It is an early sign that the number of media deals in 2008 could de dominated as predicted by mid-market transactions.

Redext is an outdoor advertising group in Spain. It has more than 500 large format billboards, as well as 70-plus outdoor advertising concessions across the country. GMT acquired it for an undisclosed sum in April 2005, investing alongside the entrepreneur with whom the private equity firm had previously worked with in another Spanish outdoor advertiser, EUSA, which was itself sold in February 2000 after nearly five years in the GMT portfolio.

Asiakastieto has more than 70% market share in the Finnish business and credit information market, providing information to 15,000 corporate customers, almost all the firms in Finland, for the support of risk and customer relationship management. GMT purchased a 91% stake in July 2006.

GMT would not comment, but a reliable source outside the company said a process was underway for both Redext and Asiakastieto, though the source stressed that both potential transactions were in the very early stages.