Eniro acquires 118 118® directory service
Eniro is acquiring Respons, which operates the leading Swedish directory assistance service, 118 118® from Telefos. The acquisition will establish Eniro in the Swedish market for user-financed directory assistance services.
Telephone conference today at 16.00 hrs CET on telephone number +44 (0) 207 162 0196 A power point presentation will be available at www.eniro.com from 14.00 CET Eniro is one of Europe's leading suppliers of search-related services and one of the largest Internet players in Northern Europe. Eniro's business concept is to facilitate trade by connecting buyers and sellers. This is achieved by providing information on the user's terms whenever a purchase need arises. In Finland, Eniro already operates a nationwide directory assistance service - Eniro:0100100 - and a directory assistance service - 118 - for Elisa and Radiolinja subscribers. The company also has user-financed directory assistance services in the Baltics. In Sweden, Eniro currently offers advertiser paid search capabilities in a number of directory media, mainly in the printed directories Gula Sidorna® (Yellow Pages), Din Del and Emfas, but also via Internet-based services - primarily gulasidorna.se, emfas.com, evreka.se and passagen.se. Eniro also offers certain telephone services and mobile applications. - "118 118 is a natural part of the offering we make available to our users. Our aim is to enable people to search in directories, by telephone or via the Internet. In the same way, our advertisers can gain exposure whenever a purchaser decides to contact a supplier - regardless of when, where or how the search is conducted," comments Lars Guldstrand, Eniro's President and CEO. - "Eniro and 118 118 complement each other well. We will now be able to share a number of technical solutions and offer our different customers a variety of services relating to information and contacts with a higher degree of cost efficiency", commented Barbro Sjölander, Managing Director of Respons. Respons operates 118 118®, the clear leader among directory assistance services in Sweden, as well as the automated directory inquiries service 118 888 AutosvarÔ. The company also operates a 118 118 SMS service, an Internet-based service, a telephone-conferencing operation under the name of Smart Meeting and a text-telephone operation for the hearing-impaired on behalf of The Swedish National Post and Telecom Agency. Respons currently handles more than 60 million searches per year with the assistance of a powerful, state-of-the-art technology platform, in which more than SEK 200 M has been invested over the past three years. The company has approximately 850 full-time employees and approximately 500 employees paid by the hour at 12 facilities in various parts of Sweden. The brand 118 118® has 85 percent brand awareness, with 98 percent satisfied users. Repons is since June 1, 2001 a wholly owned subsidiary of Telefos, controlled by Industri Kapital 2000 Fund and TeliaSonera. Following the acquisition, Eniro will hold 100 percent of the share capital in Respons AB. The purchase price is SEK 731 M, equivalent to a value for the debt-free company (enterprise value) of SEK 900 M. Cash payment upon assumption of ownership is estimated at SEK 900 M. It is calculated that the transaction will increase the Eniro Group's goodwill by approximately SEK 870 M, which will be amortized over 20 years. It is estimated that Respons's total revenues for 2003 will amount to approximately SEK 680 M, deriving entirely from user charges. Operating profit before depreciation (EBITDA) is estimated at approximately SEK 125 M. In addition, Eniro is expecting to gain synergy benefits mainly in the form of lower costs for IT solutions and databases amounting to a total of about SEK 25 M on an annualized basis and taking full effect from 2004. The acquisition price represents an enterprise-value/EBITDA multiple for 2003 of approximately 7.2 times, before synergies, and around 6.0 times including synergies. The acquisition is expected to already have a positive effect on cash earnings per share during the current year, and a neutral effect on earnings per share. A positive effect on both cash earnings per share and earnings per share is anticipated for 2004. Respons will be included in financial reporting for Region Sweden. The acquisition is contingent on approval from the Swedish Competition Authority. For further information, contact: Lars Guldstrand, President and CEO, tel +46-8-634 70 01 Lennart Bernard, CFO, tel +46-8-634 70 30, mobil +46-70-825 18 34 Boel Sundvall, Investor Relations, tel +46-8-634 70 06, mobil +46-70-560 60 18 Respons: Barbro Sjölander, President, tel +46-8-634 73 56 Ann-Sofie Olsson, Head of Information, tel +46-8-634 73 59, mobil +46-70-634 97 60