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Ringier and KKR Partner to Invest in the Growth of Ringier's Digital Businesses
|By Business Wire
|July 14, 2014 04:35 AM EDT
Ringier, Switzerland's leading international media enterprise, has
agreed on a long-term relationship with KKR, a leading global investment
firm. In the future, the two companies will work together to develop
Ringier's Swiss digital businesses in the fields of online classifieds
KKR will acquire 49 percent of the shares in each of Ringier Digital
AG's subsidiaries Scout24 Schweiz AG and Omnimedia AG. Scout24 Schweiz
AG comprises online marketplaces for motor vehicles (autoscout24.ch,
and real estate (immoscout24.ch)
as well as the anibis.ch
general classifieds marketplace.
AutoScout24 is the number one among Switzerland's online portals
for new and used cars, while ImmoScout24 is the country's leading
online real-estate platform and anibis.ch
is the largest general classifieds marketplace. Through its various
platforms, the Scout24 Group operates the most comprehensive
Swiss network of online marketplaces. In aggregate, these platforms
attract some 21 million visits each month. Omnimedia AG is one of
Switzerland's leading digital marketing companies. In addition to
offering its national and regional clients target-group-specific online
advertising concepts, Omnimedia has exclusive marketing rights for
Ringier's Swiss Scout24 platforms.
In the words of Marc Walder, Ringier AG's Chief Executive Officer, “As a
family-owned company, we take great care in choosing our business
partners. We are proud to be working with KKR, one of the world's
leading investment firms that has a strong track record in the media and
technology sectors, on the further development of our digital business.
Today, Ringier already generates 30 percent of its revenues in this
field. We aim to increase that share to 50 percent over the next
three-to-four years.” Walder will be appointed Chairman of the Board of
Directors of Scout24 Schweiz AG.
As Philipp Freise, Member and Head of the European Media & Digital
investment team at KKR, explains, “The key objective of this investment
is to put our entrepreneurial capital to work in this partnership with
Ringier. We see significant potential in Scout24 Schweiz and Omnimedia.
Both have established strong national positions in the attractive Swiss
market. We look forward to working with Ringier to realize the full
potential of these high-quality companies. KKR's global network of
advisors and technology investment professionals will be a resource to
the companies in that endeavour.”
KKR has comprehensive experience in digital media. The firm's most
recent investments in this area include BMG Rights Management (a joint
venture with Bertelsmann), Fotolia, ProSiebenSat.1, GoDaddy,
InternetBrands and Mitchell International.
As an owner-managed investment firm, KKR already has a broad and
substantial track record of successful collaborations with leading
family-owned companies, both as a minority and a majority shareholder.
KKR also utilizes its international network and financial expertise to
support its partners in both strategic and operational matters. The
investment in Scout24 Schweiz und Omnimedia is made by the KKR European
In the years ahead, the goal is to further expand the very good market
position the two companies have already established. Switzerland's
online sector has substantial potential for growth when compared to
international benchmarks. While online advertising accounts for a very
low share of the overall advertising mix, Swiss consumers are avid users
of broadband and mobile internet. Combined with substantial purchasing
power and an innovation-oriented economy, these factors provide for a
sound foundation for Ringier's digital growth strategy.
As Thomas Kaiser, Ringier AG's Chief Digital Officer, with management
responsibility for the Ringier Digital division and member of Scout24
Schweiz AG’s Board of Directors, puts it, “The partnership with KKR
provides our teams with an excellent opportunity to work with leading
experts on accelerating the growth of the online marketplaces and to
augment our leadership in the Swiss online classifieds market. We will
be working with our existing successful management team on seizing this
In the words of Bob Bellack, co-founder of Cars.com
and a future member of Scout24 Schweiz AG's Board of Directors, “The
potential, which the Swiss online classifieds market offers, is
fascinating. I am looking forward to working with the management team to
apply leading best practices in online classifieds from the U.S. market
to Scout24 Schweiz and Omnimedia. This will enable the companies to
provide an ever better offering to their customers and users.”
This transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals. Financial
details are not being disclosed.
Ringier AG, Corporate Communications
The media release is available for download on:
=> Media => Press Releases
Ringier is a diversified media enterprise operating in 14
countries and employing some 7,500 people. Established in 1833, Ringier
today operates media brands in the print, TV, radio, online and mobile
arenas. The company also runs successful publishing, entertainment and
internet businesses. Now in operation for more than 180 years, Ringier
is noted for its pioneering spirit and individuality and is committed to
independence, freedom of expression and diversity of information.
Ringier is a Swiss family-owned company whose principal operations are
located in Zurich.
Ringier Digital is a business division of Ringier AG. Its
activities encompass digital marketplaces, e-commerce and digital
marketing. Ringier Digital AG, whose registered offices are in Flamatt
in the Swiss canton of Fribourg, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ringier
AG. Ringier Digital AG's participations in Scout24 Switzerland AG and
Omnimedia AG are registered at its offices in Flamatt.
KKR is a leading global investment firm that manages
investments across multiple asset classes including private equity,
energy, infrastructure, real estate, credit and hedge funds. KKR aims to
generate attractive investment returns by following a patient and
disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and
driving growth and value creation at the asset level. KKR invests its
own capital alongside its partners' capital and brings opportunities to
others through its capital markets business. References to KKR’s
investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds. For
additional information about KKR & Co. L.P. (NYSE: KKR), please visit
KKR's website at www.kkr.com.
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