Oakley Capital fund sells stake in Italian property portal Casa
Oakley Capital Investments announced on Thursday that the Oakley Capital Private Equity III fund has reached an agreement to sell its stake in Casa.it to the EQT IX fund.
The AIM-traded firm described Casa as a “leading player” in the online real estate classifieds market in Italy, and is part of Fund III's investment in the online classifieds group, Casa & atHome.
It said the full exit of Casa, together with the partial sale of atHome earlier in the year and the retained minority stake, took the gross return on investment to date to a 23% internal rate of return for the fund.
In addition, further upside was expected from the minority stake retained in atHome.
Oakley said its share of proceeds from the transaction, which was at a 50% premium to the 30 June carrying value, would be £34m based on the sterling-euro exchange rate on the day of signing.
That represented an uplift of 7p per share to the company's net asset value as at 30 June.
Oakley originally invested in the business in 2017, as part of the acquisition of a portfolio of classifieds businesses from REA Group, which comprised Casa in Italy and atHome in Luxembourg.
Under Oakley's ownership, Casa had “significantly expanded” its customer base, and now serviced more than 14,000 real estate agents with over one million property listings on its website.
“We would like to thank Luca Rossetto and his team for their hard work in successfully developing Casa over the past three years, delivering operational improvements and significant customer growth,” said Oakley Capital managing partner Peter Dubens.
“Casa has many of the traits that Oakley targets in an investment, as a digital platform with a strong position in a structural growth market, and our partnership has continued Oakley's successful track record in the digital consumer space.”
At 1206 BST, shares in Oakley Capital Investments were up 0.3% at 252.75p.