Minter Ellison has continued its involvement with the Macquarie Capital Alliance Group (MCAG) by advising the fund on its involvement in the consortium which recently purchased European phone directories business Yellow Brick Road (YBR) for about $3 billion. London-based law firm Clifford Chance advised the consortium on the deal.
Partner Sebastian Hempel said MCAG was the leading investor in the consortium with a 36 per cent ($330 million) interest. The consortium is made up of four investors, including Macquarie Bank, Quebec financial institution Caisse and Nikko Principal Investments, the UK-based finance arm of Nikko Cordial Corporation. Although the deal has been signed and announced, it will not be completed until July.
The investment is MCAG’s second, and follows the $50.5 million purchase of the Salvation Army’s nursing homes in April. Hempel said Minter’s role in the YBR transaction was relatively minor but marked a continuation of the firm’s involvement with MCAG, from its initial public offering and the billion dollar raising to its first investments.
The consortium bought YBR from Veronis Suhler Stevenson and 3i. The Netherlands-based company has businesses in Finland, Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and its products and services include printed directories, online and mobile searches and directory assistance.
MCAG’s chief executive officer, Michael Cook, said the directories market was an attractive investment sector and the YBR Group had built a strong position in Europe. Also, it had strong relationships with telecom operators in its main markets, and exposure to growth markets.