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The Kelsey Report® Advisory

Verizon Sells European Directory Properties
Charles Laughlin , 5/7/2003

Issue: Buyers Veronis-Suhler, 3i Now Operate 8 European Publishers

News: Verizon Information Services (VIS) announced on Monday that it has sold its entire portfolio of European directory properties to a partnership of the private equity firms Veronis Suhler Stevenson (VSS) and 3i Group PLC for an undisclosed sum. The Kelsey Group estimates the VIS operations in Austria, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Gibraltar have combined revenues of about 130 million euros. TKG estimates the transaction was valued at around 220 million euros (US$250 million), or roughly eight times EBITDA.

The properties in question are Herold Business Information in Austria (74 percent Verizon share), GTE Yellow Pages in Hungary (wholly owned), Mediatel in the Czech Republic and Slovakia (wholly owned), Polskie Ksiazki Telefoniczne in Poland (50 percent owned by Verizon) and Global Directory Services in Gibraltar (wholly owned). The deal is expected to close by the end of June. Verizon's largest remaining non-U.S. operation is in Canada, where it acquired Telus Advertising Services in May 2001 for US$520 million.

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