Hellman, Apax hopes of Trader Media deal dashed amid valuation gap


car-headlightsq_lrgPrivate equity hopes of buying UK car classifieds company Trader Media Group have reportedly been dashed after majority owner Guardian Media Group called off talks.

An offer from Hellman & Friedman was significantly lower than GMG expected according to the FT, while separate reports have suggests a bid by 49.9 per cent owner Apax also fell short of the mark.

The FT said H&G’s offer was believed to value Trader at about £1.2bn including net debt, a deal which would have netted GMG about £300m in cash, citing two people with knowledge of the offer.

GMG currently owns 50.1 per cent of the group.

Apax had reportedly agreed £1.1bn of debt financing with Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Macquarie and Societe Generale to back a £751m bid for the half of the company it does not own, according to the Daily Telegraph.

That offer would value TMG at £1.5bn, despite Apax telling its investors the business is worth £1.7bn to £1.8bn.

Apax bought a 49.9 per cent stake in the business in 2007 in a deal which valued the company at £1.35bn.

The company posted EBITDA of £142.9m for the year ending in March 2011, but has £600m of debt.

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