Private equity powerhouse Permira has announced a strategic investment in Norway-listed online classifieds juggernaut Adevinta, buying approximately 125 million shares in the company from eBay - equal to a 10.2% stake - for a total price of €1.9 billion.
The deal is expected to close in Q4 2021, pending green lights on a regulatory level, after which eBay's stake in the company will be reduced from 44% to 34%.
In addition, eBay has granted Permira a 30-day option to purchase an additional 10 million shares at the same price (which would reduce eBay's stake to 33% if the option is exercised). It remains to be seen whether the American e-commerce giant will hold on to its third in Adevinta for much longer.
To refresh your memory: just under a year ago, Adevinta announced that it took over eBay's classified ads business for $9.2 billion to essentially create the world's largest online classifieds company.
Less than a month ago, the companies secured final regulatory approval for a tie-up of their global classified ads businesses, paving the way for Permira's significant share purchase announced today.
Permira Partner and Head of Consumer, Dipan Patel, will join the Board of Directors of Adevinta in connection to the transaction.
Orla Noonan, who chairs the Adevinta Board, said: "We are pleased to welcome Permira as a strategic shareholder in Adevinta and Dipan Patel to the Board of Directors. They will bring their vast experience of integrating large-scale projects to our acquisition of eBay Classifieds Group."
Rolv Erik Ryssdal, CEO Adevinta, added: "Permira has a strong track record in investing in both online marketplaces and the broader technology sector. We are confident that Permira will be able to use this expertise to support Adevinta in capturing further value for all shareholders and ultimately add to our success as the global online classifieds leader."