|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|
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%).
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.
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