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

GEFCO Group to buy IJS Global

The GEFCO Group said it agreed to buy IJS Global from Nimbus. Financial terms weren’t announced. IJS Global, of Amsterdam, is a freight forwarding company that specializes in the fields of air and sea. PRESS RELEASE COURBEVOIE, France–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The GEFCO Group, a global player in logistics for manufacturers and the European leader in automotive logistics, has signed an agreement with the private equity fund Nimbus to acquire the Dutch company IJS Global, specialised in air and sea freight operations. The complementary nature of the GEFCO and IJS Global businesses – with regard to expertise, geographic networks and customer portfolios – will create value for all of the stakeholders: customers, partners, suppliers and employees. This acquisition, which is fully in line with GEFCO’s and IJS Global’s growth strategy, will position this new entity as the preferred partner of international manufacturers in their search for growth and competitiveness. It will result into a broader range of global logistics services, dedicated to the optimisation of complex supply chains. Founded in 2004, IJS Global is a freight forwarding company specialised in the fields of air and sea. Its head office is located in Amsterdam, in the Netherlands. The company currently has around 500 employees and generated turnover of €160 million in 2014. It offers its customers a worldwide coverage thanks to its operational footprint in 16 countries, with expertise centers in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Australia, China and South-East Asia, as well as in the USA. IJS Global is well known among its customers for the reliability of its services and the quality of its commercial relationships. It operates across various business sectors including pharmaceutics, humanitarian relief, high-tech, oil & gas, aerospace and fashion. Highly complementary expertise and networks IJS Global’s network greatly complements that of the GEFCO Group which includes forty countries. This acquisition will notably allow GEFCO to develop its presence in the world’s two primary freight forwarding areas: China and South-East Asia on the one hand, and the USA on the other hand. It will also enable GEFCO to extend its European network through greater presence in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Germany, while also obtaining a foothold in the Australian market. Beyond its geographic coverage, GEFCO will further enhance its logistics and transport services with the contribution of IJS Global’s expertise in intercontinental air and sea freight forwarding. Ranging from multimodal transport to storage, customs and tax representation, and the management of integrated coordination of increasingly complex supply chains, the combination of the two companies’ expertise will expand the range of logistics solutions on offer to international customers. Furthermore IJS Global’s customer portfolio will broaden GEFCO’s customer base and speed up its diversification, while remaining focused on its core logistics activities for manufacturers. This operation is therefore fully aligned with the GEFCO Group’s external growth strategy; in addition to international development and geographic as well as sector diversification, this strategy aims to create the conditions for ambitious growth by 2020, and strengthen its position as a global logistics player. According to Luc Nadal, Chairman of the GEFCO Management Board: “The acquisition of IJS Global is fully in line with our development strategy. This operation will allow GEFCO to enhance its position as the preferred partner of international industrial companies. Our mission is to bring value to our customers’ supply chains while enabling them to achieve greater growth and competitiveness”. An industrial project that creates value for all of the stakeholders The GEFCO and IJS Global tie-up will allow the customers and business partners of both companies to benefit from immediate access to the main market trade flows: trading between South-East Asia and the United States; trading within South-East Asia; trading between Europe and South-East Asia. The Group has a AEO (Authorised Economic Operator) status in Europe and will be able to operate in over 150 countries and connect over 350 destinations , thereby offering its strategic agents and suppliers new trade opportunities. Sjoerd Van Loon, CEO of IJS Global, comments: “We are delighted to join the GEFCO Group, a global leader in high value-added logistics. The networks of both companies are complementary and will significantly contribute to our service offer in all of the world’s key markets. We are looking forward to combining the knowledge and experience of our teams to help us assist in future growth”. Furthermore, the strengthening of logistics and sector expertise, combined with the global scale of the GEFCO Group, represent opportunities for sharing best practices and professional development for both the IJS Global and GEFCO teams. Favourable conditions for successful operational implementation and integration The complementary nature of the businesses networks, expertise and customers will facilitate the operational and commercial merger between IJS Global and GEFCO. As both companies’ teams share the same culture of operational excellence and reliability, this will enable them to quickly turn this project into a success. Once the acquisition of IJS Global is completed, all of GEFCO’s freight forwarding (Overseas) activities will be managed by Sjoerd Van Loon, the current CEO of IJS Global. Luc Nadal concluded by saying: “We have all the assets to become a major Overseas player for all of our international industrial customers. I am confident that our teams – both IJS Global and GEFCO – will demonstrate how skilled and professional they are in listening to the needs of our customers and meeting their needs”. This deal will be effective after completion of the usual regulatory formalities. About the GEFCO Group GEFCO offers to devise and implement logistics plans alongside manufacturers, a source of added-value that strengthens their competitiveness. The performance GEFCO delivers to its customers is based on the expertise acquired over the last 65 years, particularly in the automotive industry, one of the most complex and demanding sectors. Present in 150 countries, GEFCO is one of the top 10 European Groups. It achieved a turnover of €4.1 billion in 2014 and employs 11,500 employees. With over 350 business locations worldwide, GEFCO is developing its activities in Central Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle-East, East Asia and South America. www.gefco.net About IJS Global IJS Global, founded in 2004, is a logistics solutions provider offering freight forwarding services and supply chain solutions to customers worldwide. Headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, IJS Global tailors services for the high tech and electronics, consumer goods, aerospace, defence, off shore & spares industries and has extensive experience & expertise in the healthcare sector.

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GEFCO Group to buy IJS Global