Cinven buys EQT’s 70% stake in Idealista in a €2.9 billion deal

Cinven has bought a 70% stake in Idealista, Spain’s largest online real estate company with a strong presence in Italy and Portugal, for €2.9 billion, in one of the biggest deals ever concluded by the private equity company.

Jésus Encinar, founder and chairman of Idealista

EQT, a Swedish buy-out group which had acquired Idealista in 2020 for €1.3 billion, has sold its majority shareholding at a massive profit but will retain an 18% stake in the company.

As part of the deal, funds advised by Apax and Oakley, which held stakes respectively of 17% and 11% in Idealista, have agreed to sell , cash in and exit the company.

Jésus Encinar, founder and chairman of Idealista, will also retain his stake and will continue to lead the company alongside the management team. “This is excellent news for Idealista and for our team,” said Encinar. “We are starting a new chapter with one of the world’s most respected, innovative, sustainable and socially responsible funds.”

Idealista, founded in 2000, has grown its presence in Spain, Portugal and Italy. It allows real estate agents to advertise their properties in exchange for a subscription fee, and it also provides online advertising, mortgage brokerage and data analytics services for real estate agents.

“The more we looked at Idealista the more we liked it,” said Jorge Quemada, partner and CEO, Cinven. “It is extremely rare that a company continues to be led and managed by the same team that founded it, but Encinar has done a brilliant job, and has made Idealista a point of reference at a global level. We intend to support the team in strengthening its leadership even further and growing the company even more.”

Founded in 2000, Idealista operates in Spain, Portugal and Italy, and allows real estate agents to advertise their properties in exchange for a recurring subscription fee. It also provides online advertising, mortgage brokerage and data analytics services for real estate agents.

EQT had instructed Morgan Stanley some months ago to find a buyer for the Madrid-based company.

“Over the past four years Idealista has entrenched its leading position in the Spanish and Portuguese market and strengthened its presence in Italy, while implementing new digital and sustainability initiatives that create a foundation for further growth,” said Bert Janssens, partner and head pof private equity Europe, EQT. “We believe strongly in Idealista’s future potential and are pleased to remain invested.”

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