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July 19, 2024
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Private Equity

Permira weighs taking private IT group Exclusive Networks, Telecom News, ET Telecom

By Amy-Jo Crowley

LONDON: The largest shareholder in Exclusive Networks has been weighing taking private the French cyber security specialist, less than three years after its stock market debut, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Buyout group Permira has been considering teaming up with investors, such as private equity funds, following expressions of interest in jointly bidding for the outstanding shares of the Paris-listed company, which has a market value of 1.65 billion euros ($1.8 billion) the people said.

The deliberations are at an early stage and Permira may decide not to proceed with any deal, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the matter is private.

Permira and Exclusive Networks declined to comment.

Any bid would be the latest in a string of European transactions where shareholders have bought companies that have struggled to perform on public markets.

Permira and Blackstone last year agreed to take Norwegian online classifieds group Adevinta off the stock market for about 141 billion Norwegian crowns ($13 billion). Permira was already a minority shareholder in the business.

The largest shareholders of French music company Believe , including CEO Denis Ladegaillerie and U.S. investment firm TCV, are at the centre of a bidding war to take the company private with the help of Swedish buyout firm EQT.

EQT last August offered to buy outstanding shares in Suse, a German software group in which it owned a 79% stake, at about half the valuation at which EQT listed the business in April 2021.

Shares in Exclusive Networks closed at 18.04 euros on Wednesday, down 9.8% from their initial public offering price of 20 euros in 2021. The stock has not traded much above its issue price in that time, but rose over 7% on the Reuters report of Permira’s interest on Thursday.

Exclusive Networks’ earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) rose 21% to 186 million euros last year, while revenues increased 14% to 5.1 billion euros.

The company sells cybersecurity and cloud software on behalf of IBM and others to businesses around the world. It was founded in 2003 and has offices globally, including in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and North America.

  • Published On Mar 15, 2024 at 08:23 AM IST

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