Oakley nets 15x on price comparison business

The deal follows the close of the UK-based firm’s second fund ahead of target on €524m in December

Oakley Capital Private Equity, the fund advised by AIM-listed Oakley Capital Investments Limited (OCIL), has agreed to offload German online price comparison business Verivox to ProSiebenSat.1 for €200 million, according to a statement from the firm.

The terms of the deal include a further consideration of up to €50 million dependent on Verivox’s future financial performance in the year to 31 December 2015. The transaction will leave ProSiebenSat.1 with an 80 percent stake in the business.

The transaction is expected to generate a return of 15x and an internal rate of return of 73 percent for Oakley’s 2007-vintage Fund I, which closed on €288 million, according to PEI’s Research & Analytics division. The return will increase to 19x and 76 percent if the full earn-out is paid.

OCIL will continue to hold a minority interest in Verivox following the sale through Oakley Capital Private Equity II, a 2013-vintage vehicle which closed above its €500 million target on €524 million last December. OCIL committed a total of €200 million to Fund II.

Following the sale of Verivox, Fund I will have generated a gross money multiple of 2.3x and an IRR of 39 percent on a realised and unrealised basis, according to the statement. The vehicle has three remaining investments: Time Out, Educas Investments and Broadstone Pensions and Investments.

Since acquisition in 2009 Verivox has consolidated its position in the German market as the largest independent consumer price-comparison portal for energy, as well as launching new price-comparison verticals including car insurance, loans and mortgages. Verivox has also introduced offline advertising, and has improved its management structure, reporting and governance.

Fund II is more than 60 percent invested in six portfolio companies, according to Oakley. These include Facile.it, Italy’s largest car insurance broker and price comparison website, and Connecticut-based marine technology company North Technology Group.

Oakley typically invests in companies with enterprise values of between £20 million and £150 million, primarily focusing on mid-market UK and European businesses, according to its website.

OCIL’s shares were quoted at 164 pence at 14:25 on Friday, giving the firm a market capitalisation of £321.76 million.