Despite all the uncertainty and confusion over the past few weeks, the sale of Adevinta was finally approved today.

A bid by Aurelia Bidco Norway AS — a consortium led by investment companies Blackstone and Permira — was approved by the owners of 93.71% of the total issued and outstanding share capital and voting rights in Adevinta, according to a statement issued to the Oslo stock exchange. Marketplace operator Adevinta is going private, subject to regulatory approval.

The final price is NOK141 billion ($13.3 billion), at a valuation of NOK115 ($10.85 U.S.) per share. This represents a premium of 51% on the average share price recorded in the six months to Sept 19., 2023. The official takeover offer was made on Dec. 22.

Nerves at the finish line

The acceptance process was not straightforward. Folketrygdfondet, which manages investments for the Government Pension Fund of Norway both domestically and in the wider Nordic region on behalf of the Ministry of Finance, delayed its decision on accepting the bid just earlier this week. Folketrygdfondet was the sixth-largest shareholder in the marketplace operator, with a 2.4% stake. Karl Mathisen, who was appointed chief investment officer equities at Folketrygdfondet at the beginning of this month, told the website that it was unhappy with the price and was considering “all the alternatives.”

The decision was already extended by two weeks, from Jan. 24 until Feb. 7, and the consortium had not yet reached the required threshold at the close of business yesterday, leading it to extend the deadline by an additional 48 hours. In the end, it needed less than 24 hours as the bid was accepted today.

The bulk of Adevinta’s shareholders are cashing out. The owners of just over 215 million shares opted for the all-cash offer, while the owners of 9.8 million shares will be paid in shares in the acquiring entity. The owners of 219,294 shares opted for a 50/50 split between these two options.

“We are today announcing that we have fulfilled the closing condition relating to 90% total acceptance of the Offer. We are very pleased with the broad support for the transaction from Adevinta shareholders, including share-owning members of the company’s board and management,” a statement read attributed to Stefan Dziarski, partner and co-head of Permira Growth Opportunities, Dipan Patel, partner and co-head of Permira Consume, and Lionel Assant, head of European Private Equity at Blackstone.

“As recently disclosed, we also continue to make good progress on the regulatory approval process. Having extended the offer period to 9 February 2024, we are providing remaining shareholders with the opportunity to join in the transaction and benefit from the settlement process under the voluntary offer.”

Spun off from Norway-based Schibsted in 2019, Adevinta owns and operates leading marketplaces, primarily across its six core Western European markets — Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands. It also has joint ventures in Ireland (with Daft) and in Brazil (with Prosus in OLX-Brazil.)

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