Deals



Oakley Capital Investments Limited Acquires Casa.it and atHome.lu


Posted: 20th December 2016 08:19

Oakley Capital Investments Limited1 has today been informed that Oakley Capital Private Equity III2 ("Fund III") has agreed to acquire a portfolio of European real estate websites including Casa.it in Italy and atHome.lu in Luxembourg (collectively "the business"). Oakley is backing the existing management team to acquire the business in a carve-out from its parent company, REA Group.

The transaction builds on Oakley's experience in the online consumer sector through its previous investments in Facile.it, Parship Elite Group and Verivox.de. Oakley is attracted to these business models because of the strong underlying structural market growth in these segments, their asset-light nature which leads to strong cash conversion, and the ability to accelerate performance through effective KPI management, especially around marketing.

Established in 1996, Casa.it is the number two player in the online real estate advertising market in Italy. The Italian residential property market is estimated to be worth over €75 billion annually, and the penetration of online property portals is expected to grow strongly as the market develops. Casa.it is well-positioned to replicate the success of leading property portal players in more mature markets such as the UK, Germany and Australia.  

Established in 2001, atHome.lu has established a market leading position in the online real estate advertising market in Luxembourg, with over 90% coverage of real estate agents.

The business generated revenues of €33.3 million and reported EBITDA of €6.0 million for the year ended 30 June 2016. Fund III intends to partly fund the acquisition with third party debt. The Company's contribution to the equity investment, through its interest in Fund III, is expected to be approximately €50 million dependent on the capital structure at completion.3

Mediobanca acted as financial advisor to Fund III on the transaction. Completion is expected to take place in Q1 2017.

Peter Dubens, Director of OCL, commented:

"We are excited to be backing Luca Rossetto, Tim Pittevils and their excellent management teams in this transaction, which further builds on Oakley's experience of investing in digital businesses such as Facile.it, Parship Elite Group, and Verivox.de. We look forward to supporting the management team in developing the business further and leveraging the strong growth prospects for online property portals in Europe."

Luca Rossetto, CEO of Casa.it, commented:

"Our partnership with Oakley Capital puts our team in the best position to deliver the next stage of Casa.it's journey in the digital market. Oakley's experience, track record and approach to their investments is a perfect match with our ambition to build a remarkable success story in Italy and in Europe."

Tim Pittevils, CEO of the atHome Group, commented:

"This partnership with Oakley is an aspirational combination to accelerate our ambitions in Luxembourg and France. The support, expertise and entrepreneurial mind-set of Oakley will help us in our move beyond our core activities and continue our successful growth story."


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