Providence Equity Partners in Exclusive Negotiations to Acquire a Majority Stake in Leading French Car Classifieds Provider Groupe La Centrale from Axel Springer
* Providence would further drive the development of Groupe La Centrale with now-minority shareholder Axel Springer
* Providence has a long and successful history of investing in European technology and media businesses
LONDON AND BERLIN — 16 DECEMBER 2020 — Providence Equity Partners L.L.C. (“Providence”), a premier private equity firm that specializes in the media, communications, education, software and services industries, today announced that it has entered into exclusive negotiations for the acquisition of a majority stake in Groupe La Centrale (the “Company”), a leading provider of car classifieds in France, from Axel Springer. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Groupe La Centrale is comprised of four brands through which it covers the entire lifecycle of a vehicle: La Centrale, Promoneuve, Caradisiac and MaVoitureCash. Upon completion, Providence would support the continued development of the Company’s best-in-class, multi-dimensional digital platform and seek opportunities to expand capabilities that will enhance customer satisfaction through investment in value-add services. The transaction will enable Axel Springer to focus even more on its growth and investment strategy in the jobs and real estate sectors, within its digital classifieds offering.
“We believe Groupe La Centrale is an outstanding business underpinned by best-in-class technology, which positions it well for continued leadership and innovation in the French auto classifieds market,” said Karim Tabet, Senior Managing Director at Providence. “Our investment is driven by our conviction that Groupe La Centrale’s well-known brands and capabilities present a significant opportunity for organic growth and service expansion.”
Robert Sudo, Managing Director at Providence, added: “Customers are demanding more products, services and optionality from classifieds providers. Leveraging Providence’s resources and experience and Groupe La Centrale’s world-class digital platform, we believe there is opportunity to add value to both dealers and drivers. Axel Springer’s continued investment is a testament to the Company’s growth potential and we are looking forward to working together alongside François Couffy and his team.”
Stephanie Caspar, President National News Media & Marketplaces at Axel Springer, said: “Groupe La Centrale has established an excellent position in the French market since Axel Springer’s entry, thanks to François Couffy and his excellent team. Together with Providence Equity Partners, we seek to build on this position and continue to develop the Company further in order to increase its value in the long term. At the same time, this transaction is in line with our growth and investment strategy in the Classifieds Media segment, where we want to focus on the two strong pillars of jobs and real estate.”
The proposed transaction would close in the first quarter of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions, including completion of the information and consultation procedures of the Company’s works council and clearance by the requisite antitrust authorities.
About Providence Equity Partners
Providence is a premier global private equity firm with more than $44 billion in aggregate capital commitments. Providence pioneered a sector-focused approach to private equity investing with the vision that a dedicated team of industry experts could build exceptional companies of enduring value. Since the firm's inception in 1989, Providence has invested in more than 170 companies and is a leading equity investment firm focused on the media, communications, education, software and services industries. Providence has a long history of successfully investing in the automotive technology sector. Providence is headquartered in Providence, RI, and also has offices in New York and London. For more information, please visit www.provequity.com