Our role as advisor on the first public-to-private transaction in Poland enabled us to learn the insights of acquisition through a public tender offer and grounded our position among private equity funds
Date: 2010 Country: Poland Industry: Business services Target: WSiP Buyer (client): Advent International VCP’s role/competence: buy-side M&A advisor, public-to-private transaction
WSiP is the largest Polish publisher of school books and educational multimedia software on all education levels.
Following the privatization of WSiP through a public offer in November 2004, the company’s shareholding structure consisted primarily of pension and mutual funds (ca. 80%).
After a restructuring carried out under the new management, WSiP became an attractive company on the book publishing market just before implementation of a major reform in the Polish education system. Our client Advent International found this an ideal moment to de-list the company from the stock market and develop the business
by introducing modern publishing technologies.
VCP coordinated the entire process as an exclusive financial advisor to the fund. Jointly, we developed the transaction strategy, gained access to the company’s management (which allowed our client to conduct due diligence, usually a very sensitive process for public companies), as well as we met with dozens of financial shareholders (pension and mutual funds) convincing them of our idea, the proposed price and our vision of the business moving forward.
In November 2009 (5 months after the project started), Advent International announced a tender offer for 100% of WSiP’s shares, which eventually (after prolongation of the offer and a subsequent price increase) led to the acquisition of 75% of the shares of the company. The acquisition of the additional shares, the buyout of minority shareholders and the subsequent delisting of WSiP were finalized in Autumn of 2010.
WSiP is the only successful public to private transaction in Poland, where the acquirer had to negotiate with a fragmented shareholder base.
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