Scout24 adds to German IPO jitters as shares drop below offer price: Reuters

(Reuters) Shares in German digital classified ads firm Scout24 dropped below their offer price on their trading debut on Thursday, casting a shadow over other pending flotations in Frankfurt, with some already scaling down their ambitions. Scout24 shares opened at 30.75 euros, above the issue price of 30.00 euros, but later dropped below that level, as investors viewed them as overvalued relative to their peers in Europe. The shares were down 1.8 percent at 29.45 euros by 1248 GMT, after losing as much as 2 percent, underperforming a 0.5 percent drop in Germany’s benchmark DAX index. Scout24’s market debut is being scrutinized by investors amid jittery equities markets. Volkswagen’s emissions scandal has also scared off investors, forcing plastics group Covestro to lower the price range and the number of shares on offer after failing to win enough offers for a planned 2.5 billion euro ($2.8 bln) Frankfurt IPO. Car parts maker Schaeffler is also considering scaling down the size of its flotation and will postpone it by at least a couple of days after investors voiced concern over the Volkswagen scandal and wobbly markets, sources familiar with that deal said. Still, some investors remained hopeful. “It needs more to cancel other IPOs,” said a Frankfurt-based trader. The Scout24 IPO had already been delayed from last year due to volatile equity markets, something Chief Executive Greg Ellis tried to play down on Thursday. “This was the best time to go,” Ellis told Reuters just after the shares started trading. The company had just completed an internal revamp and would not have been ready to float earlier this year when equity valuations were higher, he said. The initial public offering values Scout24’s equity at 3.2 billion euros, or about 19 times its expected core earnings including debt. That compares with an average earnings multiple of 18 times for its European peers, which include Rightmove , REA Group, Zoopla and Autotrader . After selling shares in the IPO, private equity firms Hellman & Friedman and Blackstone will own 45.7 percent in Scout24 if an overallotment option is fully exercised. German telecoms operator Deutsche Telekom will hold 12.1 percent while 35.9 percent will be widely held. Scout24 runs Germany’s biggest digital advertising portal for real estate and the country’s No. 2 car sales portal, behind Ebay’s mobile.de. It expects the digital classifieds market in those two sectors to roughly double by 2018. The company aims to use the proceeds of 230 million euros from a capital increase to reduce its debt, which stood at about 950 million euros at the end of June. It has no plans to acquire peers.

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Scout24 adds to German IPO jitters as shares drop below offer price: Reuters

Infogain to buy Blue Star Infotech’s IT group

Infogain Corp. said Tuesday that it is buying the IT operations of Blue Star Infotech Ltd. Financial terms weren’t announced. The combined entity will have revenue of over $150 million, close to 4,000 employees and eight delivery locations globally. Infogain is a portfolio company of ChrysCapital. PRESS RELEASE LOS GATOS, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Infogain Corporation, a global business and IT consulting leader, today announced that Infogain and Blue Star Infotech, Limited (NSE: BLUESTINFO) have entered into definitive agreements under which Infogain will acquire Blue Star Infotech’s IT operations. The acquisition will expand Infogain’s digital transformation offerings, particularly in the areas of Cloud, mobility, SAP and analytics; adding specialized capabilities in the travel/hospitality, high-tech and healthcare verticals. In addition, the acquisition will strengthen and enhance the leadership position of Infogain in the areas of product engineering and test automation. Infogain provides customer-facing solutions, processes and applications that lead to a more efficient and streamlined digital customer experience for enterprises in the US, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Indian markets. With 20%+ revenue CAGR, Infogain’s growth has outpaced industry growth by more than 50%. The company has more than doubled its revenue over the past four years and continues to see significant traction among existing as well as new clients. This acquisition will enable Infogain to expand its services portfolio to support current customers, strengthen existing retail, insurance and high-tech verticals, and enter into new verticals such as travel and hospitality. The combined entity will have revenue of over $150 million, close to 4,000 employees and eight delivery locations globally. This acquisition is being announced within weeks following a $63M Investment by ChrysCapital. Commenting on the acquisition, Sanjay Kukreja, Managing Director at ChrysCapital noted, “BSIL’s IT assets are an ideal fit for Infogain with the vision of creating a leading new age digital services platform with combined capabilities in Cloud, mobility, SAP, analytics and product engineering. We expect the combined company to grow to half a billion dollars, through organic and inorganic growth, within the next five years.” “This acquisition is another achievement toward our vision of transforming Infogain into a much larger IT services player delivering innovation and outstanding value to our clients,” notes Kapil Nanda, President and Chief Executive Officer of Infogain. “Blue Star Infotech has achieved outstanding success over recent years, and I look forward to working with its high-performance leadership and team to deliver even greater value to clients. I am extremely excited to welcome them to the growing Infogain team.” “The IT industry is evolving as never before, and we are excited by the opportunity to offer our clients increased scale of our operations as well as broader capabilities including next-generation technologies,” explains Sunil Bhatia, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director at Blue Star Infotech. “The culmination of many years of outstanding growth nurtured by our founder Suneel Advani, this acquisition will align BSIL’s IT Business with a larger peer thereby strengthening its position in the industry.” Cynthia Stoddard, CIO at NetApp (NTAP) and a longstanding client of Infogain, commented, “Infogain’s capabilities, talent pool, and geographic presence will certainly be expanded with the acquisition of Blue Star Infotech. We are excited to continue to involve Infogain in activities around our new offerings such as NetApp Private Storage for Azure and other Cloud environments.” Kapil Nanda, President and Chief Executive Officer of Infogain, will continue in this role. Sunil Bhatia will join Infogain’s management team as its CEO designate, and will assume his new responsibilities as CEO of the combined entity on July 1, 2016. At that time, Kapil Nanda will transition to his role as full-time Executive Chairman. BSIL’s board of directors has unanimously approved the acquisition, which is expected to close towards the end of 2015, subject to BSIL shareholder approval, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. Avendus Capital Private Limited is serving as the financial advisor and Talwar Thakore & Associates as the legal counsel to BSIL. Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati is serving as the legal counsel to Infogain Corporation. About Infogain Infogain (www.infogain.com) provides front-end, customer-facing technologies, processes and applications that lead to a more efficient and streamlined customer experience for enterprises in the US, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and India. Offering solutions for the high-tech, retail and insurance verticals, Infogain specializes in areas such as software product engineering, digital service automation and mobility. A Gold level partner of Oracle (ORCL), Infogain has outstanding Oracle capabilities for point-of-sale systems, merchandising systems, CRM systems, knowledge management systems, ERP and next generation call center capabilities. The company’s customer retention rate of 90%+ over a five-year period is a testament to the ability of the team to identify clients’ specific needs and provide best-in-class solutions across a broad spectrum of service areas. About Blue Star Infotech Ltd Blue Star Infotech Limited (www.bsil.com), a digital transformation consulting and services company, combines the best of engineering, creativity and technology to deliver the next generation of software solutions to its global customers and enable them to be future?ready. Part of the well?known Blue Star Group, Blue Star Infotech is a listed company with its global headquarters in Mumbai, India, and with operations in USA, UK, Europe, Malaysia, and Singapore. The company is focused on delivering value-added and future?proofed software solutions by leveraging emerging technologies and trends while preserving existing investments for gaining competitive advantages. About ChrysCapital ChrysCapital is a private equity firm that was started in 1999 and currently manages US $2.5B across six funds. The firm has deployed over US $2B across 70+ investments and has had 50+ successful exits. The firm’s investors include global endowments, sovereign funds, family offices, foundations and fund of funds. To learn more about ChrysCapital, please visit www.chryscapital.com.

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Infogain to buy Blue Star Infotech’s IT group

Axel Springer buys 88 percent of Business Insider: Reuters

(Reuters) — German publisher Axel Springer said on Tuesday it would buy 88 percent of news website Business Insider valued at $343 million. Springer, which earlier this year missed out on buying the Financial Times newspaper from Pearson, said it already owns about 9 percent of the website, which has 76 million monthly visitors. Amazon Inc-founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos will hold the rest of the shares via his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions, Springer said in a statement.

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Axel Springer buys 88 percent of Business Insider: Reuters

Warburg Pincus leads investment in college big data firm Civitas: Reuters

Private equity firm Warburg Pincus LLC said on Monday it has agreed to lead a $60 million investment round in Civitas Learning, an Austin, Texas-based startup that uses data analytics to help universities improve graduation rates. Education software and services companies have drawn record levels of investment this year, as many institutions are seeking to upgrade their learning tools to become more competitive in attracting and educating students. This was the largest funding round to date for Civitas, which was founded in 2011 by former Kaplan education executive Charles Thornburgh and an educator and administrator, Mark David Milliron. Universities and colleges that use Civitas give the company access to information from its student population such as grades, course loads, and financial aid packages. The company then analyzes the data and creates a system of predictive analytics to help universities figure out who might be at risk of dropping out. It also builds applications on top of its data platform that can help students pick majors, and analyzes for university administrators the effectiveness of courses. Civitas generates revenue by selling software subscriptions. About 850 campuses use its services, including the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Arizona, according to its website. Adarsh Sarma, managing director at Warburg Pincus, in a statement said Civitas was “a pioneer in the field of using applied data analytics to improve student outcomes.” As state- and federal-funded universities face performance-based funding requirements in which graduation rates are increasingly tied to their budgets, companies like Civitas can be brought in to seek improved results. “With this investment, we are going to be able to improve and accelerate both learning and student outcomes for our partner institutions,” said Thornburgh, Civitas’ chief executive. The company will use the money for research and development as well as potential mergers and acquisitions. Besides Warburg Pincus, the fundraising round includes previous investors including Emergence Capital Partners, Austin Ventures, Rethink Education, SJF Ventures and Gera Venture Capital. Warburg has a history of making money from investments in education technology. For example, it sold iParadigms LLC which makes “Turnitin” plagiarism software, for $752 million, including debt, to Insight Venture Partners last year.

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Warburg Pincus leads investment in college big data firm Civitas: Reuters

Lariat Partners recaps LaMi

Lariat Partners has recapitalized Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania-based LaMi Holdings LLC, a provider of non-edible, general merchandise impulse items to groceries and other retail channels. No financial terms were disclosed. PRESS RELEASE DENVER (Sept. 24, 2015) – Lariat Partners, a Denver-based private equity firm, has announced the recapitalization of LaMi Holdings, LLC, (LaMi), the leading distributor and merchandiser of non-edible, general merchandise impulse items to grocery and other retail channels. Lariat is providing the necessary growth capital to help LaMi complete its new state-of-the-art automated warehouse, improve sourcing, fund expansion-related expenditures and pursue growth opportunities. Headquartered in Huntingdon Valley, Pa., LaMi services blue chip grocery and other retail customers throughout the United States. The company’s co-Chief Executive Officers are Larry Dion and Michael Dion. “Our new state-of-the-art warehouse and robotic pick-n-pack system will enable us to continue our growth while providing just-in-time inventory to customers” said Larry Dion. “The partnership with Lariat and the recapitalization effort will play a key role in helping us replicate this automated warehouse operation on the west coast in the near future.” LaMi’s impulse items typically retail for less than $9.99 and are cross merchandised throughout a grocery or retail store. By positioning ice cream scoops adjacent to freezers, or pet toys adjacent to pet food for example, LaMi’s vast product offering enhances sales and margin for retailers while adding convenience for consumers. With more than 800 field merchandisers, broad product offering, product design and sourcing expertise, customer service focus and strong management team, LaMi is well-positioned to further expand its retail service solutions throughout North America. “Our Partnership with Lariat allows LaMi to fuel efficiency in filling customer needs,” said Michael Dion. “The entire process from product sourcing, order fulfillment, and store level merchandising will be enhanced with the ultimate goal of benefiting our customers.” Jay Coughlon, Managing Partner for Lariat Partners, said, “LaMi provides an incredible value proposition to its customers that we believe is only going to improve as the grocery industry seeks new sources of revenue. Larry, Michael and the LaMi team have proven their ability to execute throughout their long entrepreneurial history, and we are excited to help them continue achieving their vision.” About Lariat Partners Denver-based Lariat Partners is a private equity firm focused on redefining the private equity experience with entrepreneurs in the lower-middle market. With its People First, Strategy Second relationship philosophy and its CORE Investment Strategy targeting COnsolidations, COnsumables and REcurring REvenue businesses, Lariat offers a differentiated approach to partnering with entrepreneurs and growing their middle market businesses. The firm targets companies across a number of industries, including Specialty Agriculture, Energy & Environmental Services, Consumer Products and Maritime Services. For more information, visit www.lariatpartners.net.

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Lariat Partners recaps LaMi