(Bloomberg) -- European classifieds company Adevinta ASA said it has received a takeover proposal from a private equity consortium that includes Blackstone Inc. and Permira for what would be one of the year’s biggest buyouts.
Adevinta said in statement Thursday confirming an earlier Bloomberg News report that it had “received a non-binding indicative proposal” from the group regarding a potential offer for all shares of the company.
Oslo-based Adevinta also said its largest shareholders, eBay Inc. and Norwegian media group Schibsted ASA, had expressed their support for the proposal and would retain part of their current stakes. It added that the discussions were at an early stage and there was no certainty a final offer would be made.
Representatives for Blackstone and Permira have declined to comment.
Shares of Adevinta, which has a market value of more than $9.7 billion, have lost more than half their value since a peak in 2021.
The Norwegian company bought eBay’s online classifieds business in a $9.2 billion cash and stock deal agreed to in 2021, beating out rival bidders including a consortium backed by Blackstone and Permira. That deal left eBay with a significant stake in Adevinta, part of which it later sold to Permira.
EBay and Schibsted each held about 30% of Adevinta’s voting rights at the end of last year, while Permira owns about 12% of them, according to its latest annual report. Shares of eBay rose as much as 3.5% in New York trading Thursday.
Adevinta’s portfolio includes the Leboncoin classifieds site in France, the Mobile.de car marketplace in Germany and the Fotocasa real estate portal in Spain. It also operates Willhaben, Austria’s biggest digital marketplace, as well as Subito in Italy, Kijiji in Canada and Gumtree in Ireland, according to its website.
The Betaville blog wrote earlier this week about market speculation that Adevinta was attracting takeover interest, without naming the suitors.
--With assistance from Michelle F. Davis, Ryan Gould, Loni Prinsloo, Ruth David and Jan-Henrik Förster.
(Updates with Adevinta statement in third paragraph)
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