These are classified ads that are worth gold. A consortium led by the investment funds Blackstone and Permira offered, on Tuesday, 12.1 billion euros to buy the Norwegian classified ads specialist Adevinta, the parent company of the Leboncoin site in France. The discussions are very advanced. The consortium as well as the coveted Norwegian group specify in a joint stock market press release that the buyout offer has already received the support of Adevinta shareholders representing 72% of the capital.
In September, the group had already revealed, following revelations from Bloomberg, that discussions were underway with the two Anglo-Saxon investment funds. They are “at an early stage”, Adevinta then qualified, enjoining its shareholders to “refrain from undertaking anything regarding their actions in the company which would be likely to harm their interests, and to exercise prudence in the management of their securities”.
Adevinta is a heavyweight in classified ads. It changed dimension in 2021 with the purchase of eBay's classifieds business for $9.2 billion, paid in cash and shares. Last year, the group achieved 1.6 billion euros in turnover, up 8% year-on-year. In France, Adevinta owns Leboncoin, the second most visited e-commerce site in France, as well as the Argus group, Avendrealouer and Agriaffaires. Leboncoin remains one of the gems of the group. The classified ads activity is generally driven by the rise of second-hand goods.
Since the acquisition of eBay, the latter has been a shareholder in Adevinta, as has the Norwegian Schibsted. Both total around 30% of voting rights according to Bloomberg. As early as September, eBay and Schibsted had expressed their support for the offer of the two investment funds. They will nevertheless retain shares in the capital of Adevinta.