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CCMP Asia, Teachers Private Capital acquire NZ Yellow Pages

CCMP Capital Asia and the private investment arm of Ontario’s Teachers’ Pension Plan have overcome heavyweight competition to acquire Yellow Pages in New Zealand for $1.54 billion.

CCMP Capital Asia and Teachers’ Private Capital, the private investment arm of Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, have agreed to acquire Yellow Pages Group from Telecom Corporation of New Zealand for NZ$2.165 billion ($1.54 billion).

The transaction values Yellow Pages at 13.6 times the company’s earnings for 2006, according to a spokesperson for CCMP Asia.

CCMP, formerly known as JP Morgan Partners Asia, and Teachers’ Private Capital, a limited partner in CCMP’s fund, will each take a fifty percent stake in the business, which is the former directories arm of New Zealand’s Telecom Corporation.

The pair beat some old allies to win the auction, including CVC Asia Pacific, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, and a consortium comprising Pacific Equity Partners and Bain Capital.

Teachers’ Private Capital previously partnered with KKR to acquire Yellow Pages in Canada, while CCMP Asia joined forces with CVC Asia Pacific in the $127 million acquisition of Singapore’s Yellow Pages in 2003.

The winning consortium submitted the cleanest deal structure, including a preferential allotment for shareholders of Telecom, according to the CCMP Asia spokesman.

The transaction, scheduled for completion in April, will be partially funded through the issuance of a New Zealand-listed capital note, to which Telecom shareholders would have priority allocation later in the year, according to the new owners of Yellow Pages.

“In Telecom’s opinion, the CCMP/TPC bid provides the best outcome for Telecom shareholders. We also expect the new owners to be good for the YPG business given their experience with owning other yellow pages business elsewhere,” Phil Love, a spokesman for Telecom said.

Telecom was advised by Goldman Sachs JBWere, and CCMP and its co-investor were advised by ABN AMRO New Zealand.