KKR books 3x on Scout24 Schweiz

The firm is exiting its 49% stake in the online classified ads portal after less than two years.

KKR has agreed to sell its 49 percent stake in Scout24 Schweiz, a Swiss online classified ads network, to private insurance company Swiss Mobiliar less than two years after its initial investment.

It is understood that the sale will generate a return of more than 3x for investors in KKR European Fund III, a 2008-vintage, $6.79 billion vehicle.

KKR declined to comment on financial details of the transaction.

KKR acquired the stake from Swiss media company Ringier in August 2014. Ringier retains a controlling stake in the business.

Scout24 Schweiz operates a network of online marketplaces for motor vehicles (autoscout24.ch and motoscout24.ch), real estate (immoscout24.ch) and general classifieds (anibis.ch). According to a statement, Scout24 Schweiz is the most comprehensive Swiss network of online marketplaces. The platform is said to receive around 26 million visits a month, reaching around 35 percent of the Swiss population.

While owning Scout24 Schweiz KKR brought Bob Bellack, co-founder of cars.com, onto the company’s board of directors, and gave it access to its network of advisors and technology experts, the firm said.

“We have provided Scout24 Schweiz not only with financial resources, but also with entrepreneurial capital by offering strategic and operational support and access to our global network,” said Philipp Freise, head of technology, media and telecoms at KKR Europe.

As of 30 June 2015 KKR European Fund III was delivering a net internal rate of return of 8.6 percent and an investment multiple of 1.3x, according to performance data from the California Public Employees’ Retirement System.