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Private equity in action - Case Study

PE in CEE - Wirtualna Polska

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A leading Polish internet portal

Combining the # 2 and # 5 players plus 14 more acquisitions created a leading portal and led to a quick and highly successful IPO

 

COUNTRY

Poland

RETURN 2.7x
GP Innova Capital GROWTH 14 acquisitions in 2.5 years
INVESTMENT EUR 33.1 million  EMPLOYMENT 561 new jobs
SECTOR Online media INVESTMENT TYPE Buyout
INVESTMENT February 2014 FUND OWNERSHIP 48% 
EXIT February 2017 EXIT ROUTE Public markets

Investment rationale
Wirtualna Polska (WP), Poland’s second largest internet portal, was put up for sale by Orange at a time when the dynamic owners of o2, the # 5, were looking to leap ahead. Innova partnered with the o2 founders, realizing that a merger would close the gap to the leader and unlock revenue and cost synergies. With advertising shifting online, Innova expected the combined entity’s position to drive substantial growth in advertising revenues.


Deal history and structure
Partnering with o2, Innova acted as a quasi-strategic buyer to win the hotly contested auction process, which included a number of local and international strategics as well as private equity investors. Following the transaction, o2 and WP were merged, with o2’s founders rolling over their shares for a 32% stake in the combined entity alongside a private equity consortium comprising Innova (48%) and MCI (20%).

 

Wirtualna Polska

Innova Capital

In this section
Private Equity in CEE: Creating Value and Continued Growth Image

Private Equity in CEE: Creating Value and Continued Growth

11 Feb 2021
Invest Europe

The report offers an in-depth study of private equity’s role in innovation and economic development across Central and Eastern Europe through detailed case studies of companies backed by private equity investors during 2015-2019.

Download PDF 8.26 MB
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