July 14, 2014
Digital Media and Media
KKR acquired a 49% stake in Ringier Digital
Ringier, the leading international media company in Switzerland, has entered a broad partnership with KKR. The company’s online classifieds and digital marketing platforms will, in future, be developed jointly.
KKR acquired shares of 49% in both Ringier digital subsidiaries Scout24 Switzerland AG and Omnimedia AG. Scout24 Switzerland comprises online marketplaces for automobiles (AutoScout24.ch, MotoScout24.ch) and real estate (ImmoScout24.ch) as well as the general classifieds platform anibis.ch.
The Scout24 group forms the largest Swiss network of online marketplaces. AutoScout24 is the largest Swiss online portal for new and used cars, ImmoScout24 is Switzerland’s leading online real estate platform and anibis.ch is the country’s largest horizontal classifieds website. The sites receive around 21 million visits monthly. Omnimedia AG is a leading Swiss online marketing agency which offers national and regional customers various digital marketing solutions. It also exclusively markets the Scout24 platforms.
KKR has extensive experience in working with media companies and online platforms. Among its recent investments in this area are BMG Rights Management (joint venture with Bertelsmann), Fotolia, ProSiebenSat.1, Go Daddy, InternetBrands and Mitchell International. As an owner-investor, KKR has successfully collaborated with a number of leading family-owned companies in both minority and majority holdings. The funds for the partnership with Ringier will come from the KKR European Fund III.
The partnership between KKR and Ringier Digital aims to strengthen Ringier Digital’s already solid market position over the next few years. When compared internationally, the Swiss online market shows considerable growth potential. While the share of online advertising is very low in the overall marketing mix, usage of broadband and mobile Internet is widespread. At the same time, Switzerland boasts strong purchasing power and an innovation-based economy. The combination of these factors provides the foundation for Ringier’s growth strategy in the digital domain.