Die Mobiliar to acquire KKR’s stake in Scout24 Schweiz and to become new shareholder alongside Ringier

Ringier AG (Ringier), the largest international media enterprise in Switzerland, and Die Mobiliar, the country’s oldest private insurance company, have agreed a strategic partnership whereby Die Mobiliar will become the new joint shareholder in Scout24 Schweiz AG (Scout24 Schweiz), the leading network of online marketplaces for motor vehicles, real estate and general classifieds. Die Mobiliar will acquire a fifty per cent stake in Scout24 Schweiz, previously held by KKR and other shareholders, by the spring of 2016. Ringier will continue to consolidate Scout24 Schweiz and therefore will retain governance rights.

KKR, a leading global investment firm, acquired its stake in Scout24 Schweiz in August 2014. Alongside Ringier, KKR’s intention was to further develop the company’s already strong market position and to fully realise its excellent growth potential. Scout24 Schweiz benefitted from KKR’s extensive expertise in the media, digital and technology sectors and from access to a global network of advisors and technology experts. For example, KKR brought in Bob Bellack, co-founder of Cars.com and a renowned international sector expert, as a new member of Scout24 Schweiz’s Board of Directors. The successful partnership resulted in significantly accelerated growth that considerably exceeded the expectations of the parties involved.

As part of the Scout24 Schweiz group, the online marketplaces Autoscout24.chMotoscout24.ch, Immoscout24.ch and the general classifieds platform Anibis.ch were able to further expand their leading positions in their respective segments over the last two years. With over 155,000 listed vehicles, AutoScout24 is the undisputed number one among Swiss online portals for new and used cars. ImmoScout24 is the leading Swiss online platform for residential and commercial properties with 76,000 advertisements placed each day and Anibis.ch is the largest general classifieds marketplace in Switzerland with a total of 900,000 classified advertisements. Together, the Scout24 Schweiz group is the most comprehensive Swiss network of online marketplaces. The platforms record around 26 million visits a month, reaching about 35 per cent of the Swiss population every week.

“The Scout24 Schweiz group has been able to substantially improve its market position in the last two years and has accelerated its growth. KKR has greatly contributed to this excellent development. We would like to thank our partner, as well as Scout24 Schweiz. Together with Die Mobiliar – a strong Swiss company with a great tradition like Ringier – we will now take the Scout24 Schweiz marketplaces to the next stage.”

Marc Walder, CEO of Ringier AG and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Scout24 Schweiz AG

“The partnership with Ringier has been a great success for all those involved. We have provided Scout24 Schweiz not only with financial resources but also with entrepreneurial capital, by offering strategic and operational support, as well as access to our global network. Scout24 Schweiz adds to our strong track record of successful investments in the European media, digital and technology sectors, including BMG, Fotolia, ProSiebenSat.1, Trainline, GetYourGuide and Arago. We have no doubt that Scout24 Schweiz will now build on this strengthened position by taking the next step in its development, achieving even greater success over the long term.”

Philipp Freise, Member and Head of Technology, Media and Telecoms at KKR Europe

“This partnership will allow us to be involved in a digital marketplace that is close to our core business and which we could not set up on our own. Scout24 Schweiz is an attractive, solid and profitable business with great growth potential. Together with Ringier we will strive to develop it into the leading Swiss ecosystem around cars and real estate.”

Markus Hongler, CEO of Die Mobiliar

“Due to the valuable contribution of Ringier and KKR, as well as that of experts, such as Bob Bellack, we were able to significantly develop our business over the last two years. Our digital marketplaces have been bundled under one roof and belong to the best and most diversified worldwide. We have a highly qualified team, cutting edge technology, innovative products, and accordingly strong growth. All of this leaves us well positioned for the future collaboration with Die Mobiliar.”

Olivier Rihs, CEO of Scout24 Schweiz

Financial details of the transaction will not be disclosed.

Ringier AG, Corporate Communications