Investment fund manager EQT has reached an agreement to acquire Spanish online real estate marketplace Idealista for €1.3 billion from funds advised by Apax Partners.
The acquisition was made via EQT IX fund, which will have majority ownership. Idealista’s management team, including founder and CEO Jesús Encinar, will continue to lead the company.
Founded in 2000 and headquartered in Madrid, Spain, Idealista supports approximately 40,000 real estate agents and 38 million unique monthly visitors across Southern Europe by providing an online real estate classifieds marketplace for home buyers and sellers. In addition to its online platform, it offers CRM tools, data analytics, and online mortgage brokerage.
EQT IX will invest in the company’s online platform and further develop its portfolio of additional services for real estate agents. Idealista is also expected to leverage EQT’s inhouse digital and tech expertise, global presence, and network of advisors. EQT will aim to support idealista’s plans to further penetrate its core markets in Southern Europe.
Bert Janssens, partner and global co-head TMT at EQT Partners and investment advisor to EQT IX, said: “Idealista represents a truly thematic investment, within one of EQT’s core sub-sectors. This investment fits strongly with EQT’s focus of investing in high growth companies and partnering with world class management teams. We are impressed by the market leading position Idealista has built over the past 20 years and EQT is excited to support Idealista and its entrepreneurial management team in this next stage of growth.”
Carlos Santana, managing director and head of EQT private equity in Spain at EQT Partners, and investment advisor to EQT IX, said: “EQT believes that Idealista has the potential to grow at an accelerated pace. Together with Jesús and the management team, EQT will support further expansion within idealista’s core markets and consolidate its leadership position in Southern Europe. The investment in Idealista further demonstrates EQT’s commitment to pursue investment opportunities in the region.”
Jesús Encinar, CEO at Idealista, said: “We are very excited to partner with EQT and look forward to working together during the coming years. EQT’s online classifieds and real estate expertise, local presence in Spain and Italy, and extensive network of advisors will be of great value for us and key to our future success. Idealista and EQT share a similar culture and passion for growth, a key decision factor for me and my team to partner with them.”
The transaction is expected to close subject to the necessqry approvals in December 2020. PwC, Allen & Overy, and Freshfields advised EQT, while Evercore served as advisor to Apax and Idealista.
With this transaction, EQT IX is expected to be 10-15 percent invested, based on its target fund size.
EQT has more than €62 billion in raised capital and around €40 billion in assets under management across 19 active funds. EQT funds have portfolio companies in Europe, Asia-Pacific and North America with total sales of more than €27 billion and approximately 159,000 employees.
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Uría Menéndez acted for funds advised by Apax Partners on the deal.
Uría Menéndez’s team was headed by M&A partner Juan Martín Perrotto and included: María García Roldán (M&A); David López Pombo and Miloslava Ilcheva Srandeva (Tax); Tomás Arranz Fernández-Bravo and Jokin Beltrán de Lubiano (Competition and EU law); Mario Barros García (Employment); Leticia López-Lapuente (Data Protection); and David López Velázquez (Regulatory). The Simpson Thacher team included Derek Baird, Lucy Gillett and James Campisi (M&A); Jacob Durkin and Sophie Davies (Credit); and Yash Rupal (Tax).
The Freshfields team advising EQT included partners Bosco Montejo (Madrid) and Renato Paternollo (Milan), as well as Madrid-based associates Álvaro Fernández and Carmen Delgado, and Milan-based associates Toni Marciante and Matteo Feliziani.