ALTERNATIVE FINANCING FORMS
FOR ENTREPRENEURS AND INVESTORS

News

Scout24 AG takes over FINANZCHECK.de

25. July 2018

Berlin / Munich / Hamburg — The Scout24 AG (“Scout24″ or “the Group”), a leading opera­tor of digi­tal market­pla­ces focu­sing on real estate and auto­mo­tive in Germany and other selec­ted Euro­pean coun­tries, has ente­red into an agree­ment to acquire all shares in the FFG FINANZCHECK Finanz­por­tale GmbH (“FINANZCHECK.de”), a German online compa­ri­son portal for consu­mer loans. Scout24 acqui­res FINANZCHECK.de from Acton Capi­tal Part­ners, btov Part­ners, High­land Europe, Harbour­Vest Part­ners as well as from the foun­der and CEO and other inves­tors (toge­ther the “Sellers”). The closing is subject to anti­trust appro­val and is expec­ted within the next four to six weeks. The tran­sac­tion is based on a consi­de­ra­tion of €285 million, free of cash and debt. The purchase price is paid enti­rely in cash.

FINANZCHECK.de opera­tes an online plat­form for consu­mer finance and offers users a fast and effi­ci­ent compa­ri­son of consu­mer loans in real time. In addi­tion, FINANZCHECK.de coope­ra­tes with affi­liate websites, point-of-sale finan­cing part­ners and part­ner networks in Germany via its own consu­mer finance tech­no­logy plat­form. In terms of market share and market posi­tio­ning in the online compa­ri­son of consu­mer loans, FINANZCHECK.de is one of the top three portals in Germany. Using an uncom­pli­ca­ted online query, credit offers and credit-rela­­ted products from all major provi­ders on the market can be compa­red within minu­tes. For credit inqui­ries on install­ment loans, car loans and debt reschedu­ling loans, credit advi­sors are avail­able on request in addi­tion to online inquiry — seven days a week and free of charge.

Through this acqui­si­tion of high stra­te­gic impor­t­ance, Scout24 will in future work with one of the leading indus­try provi­ders to be able to offer users an outstan­ding user expe­ri­ence and help them save time and money in their search for the right consu­mer loan. Banks and finan­cial insti­tu­ti­ons can also be provi­ded with a cost-effec­­tive and scala­ble way to offer their services to loan seekers. FINANZCHECK.de has built its success­ful busi­ness on its own tech­no­logy plat­form with machine lear­ning capa­bi­li­ties and API connec­tions (Appli­ca­tion Programming Inter­face) to the most rele­vant finan­cial service provi­ders in Germany.

The market for online consu­mer loan compa­ri­sons is a fast-growing market, bene­fi­t­ing both from a good over­all deve­lo­p­ment of the more than 80 billion euros in new consu­mer loans gran­ted in Germany and from a progres­sive shift in consu­mer loan tran­sac­tions from offline chan­nels to online. Over the period from 2015 to 2022, the market share of consu­mer loans gene­ra­ted through online compa­ri­son is expec­ted to double.

With an average annual growth rate of around 35% over the last three years, FINANZCHECK.de can demons­trate a strong growth history and gene­ra­ted reve­nues of more than 35 million euros in the fiscal year ending Decem­ber 2017. This brings the volume of loans broke­red since the company was foun­ded in 2012 to more than EUR 3.5 billion. In addi­tion, with more than 20 finan­cial insti­tu­ti­ons connec­ted to its tech­no­logy plat­form via API, FINANZCHECK.de has compre­hen­sive market coverage with regard to the main provi­ders of consu­mer finance.

The acqui­si­tion of FINANZCHECK.de is an important stra­te­gic step to support users during their consu­mer jour­ney and to imple­ment Scout24’s motto “Inspi­ring your best decisi­ons” — perfectly comple­men­ted by FINANZCHECK.de’s motto “enab­ling for money”. The acqui­si­tion builds on the already well-estab­­lis­hed and success­ful busi­ness part­ners­hip between the two compa­nies in broke­ring consu­mer finan­cing for car seekers on the AutoScout24 and FinanceScout24 platforms.

Since the IPO in Octo­ber 2015, Scout24 has already acqui­red and success­fully inte­gra­ted several other compa­nies from its Euro­pean core markets, such as AutoTra­der B.V. in the Nether­lands or Gebrauchtwagen.at in Austria, which were a perfect stra­te­gic fit and at the same time contri­bu­ted to the expan­sion of the market posi­tion. In this respect, FINANZCHECK.de with its strong and estab­lis­hed brand is a perfect comple­ment to the exis­ting busi­ness and contri­bu­tes signi­fi­cantly to the scope and reach of the market network — which in turn also bene­fits the future deve­lo­p­ment of FINANZCHECK.de.

“The acqui­si­tion of FINANZCHECK.de is anot­her major step in the digi­tiz­a­tion of the Consu­mer Jour­ney within the Scout24 market network. It is a perfect fit for our busi­ness, and we are convin­ced that this stra­te­gic move will enable us to expand Consu­mer Services sales growth to the EUR 250 million mark in the medium term. In addi­tion to opera­tio­nal syner­gies and reve­nue contri­bu­tion, we also gain an even deeper under­stan­ding of user needs to the point of tran­sac­tion. With insight into user lifecy­cles and an under­stan­ding of when a user will start their next search for a new car or home, we can gain very valu­able insights for our busi­ness. These will help us stra­te­gi­cally align our offe­ring so we can build more brid­ges to future user touch­points,” empha­si­zes Gregory Ellis, CEO of Scout24 AG, the high stra­te­gic value and leverage of the tran­sac­tion, which will help close the gaps in covering the consu­mer jour­ney along the value chains of the real estate and auto­mo­tive businesses.

“We are deligh­ted to have Scout24 on board as our new parent company. This new alli­ance builds on an already very good coope­ra­tion within the frame­work of our long-stan­­ding affi­liate part­ners­hip,” says Moritz Thiele, CEO and foun­der of FINANZCHECK.de.

The Manage­ment Board of Scout24 sees consi­derable oppor­tu­nities to drive growth in this segment through the expan­sion of the Consu­mer Services divi­sion to include FINANZCHECK.de. This is prima­rily due to a more inte­gra­ted service offe­ring on the Scout24 plat­forms, with which Scout24 can accom­pany the consu­mer jour­ney to a grea­ter extent. The Execu­tive Board anti­ci­pa­tes syner­gies in both the auto­mo­tive and real estate busi­nes­ses. The initial focus will be on expan­ding the presence of FINANZCHECK.de on the AutoScout24 plat­form in order to meet further user needs rela­ting to car purcha­ses. Car loans are an essen­tial part of buying a car; about 40% of used cars are parti­ally or fully finan­ced. Scout24’s manage­ment plans to extend the offer to the AutoScout24 plat­forms in the Euro­pean core markets in the future.

In addi­tion to streng­t­he­ning the AutoScout24 plat­form through inte­gra­ted car finan­cing, Scout24’s Manage­ment Board sees addi­tio­nal syner­gies and reve­nue poten­tial by lever­aging the exis­ting close rela­ti­ons­hips with the appro­xi­mately 26,000 AutoScout24 dealer part­ners in Germany. For example, AutoScout24 can also offer the busi­­ness-to-busi­­ness solu­tion “finanz­check­PRO” from FINANZCHECK.de, which helps car dealers to show poten­tial car buyers suita­ble finan­cing opti­ons for their desi­red car purchase and enable its implementation.

Consul­tant SCOUT 24 
Scout24 was advi­sed in the tran­sac­tion by McKin­sey & Company, Inc., BDO AG Wirt­schafts­prü­fungs­ge­sell­schaft, Will­kie Farr & Gallag­her LLP and by Credit Suisse (Deutsch­land) AG advi­sed. The Scout24 Group is finan­cing the acqui­si­tion through a credit facility.

Consul­tant FINANTCHECK.de
FINANZCHECK.de and its share­hol­ders were suppor­ted in the tran­sac­tion by Macqua­rie Capi­tal (Europe) Limi­ted as exclu­sive finan­cial advi­ser and Leo Schmidt-Hollburg Witte & Frank as legal advi­ser. advise The tran­sac­tion conti­nued to be suppor­ted by Ernst & Young and EY Parthe­non. Better­mind GmbH suppor­ted the FINANZCHECK.de manage­ment intern­ally in the process and ensu­red further growth in parallel.

About SCOUT 24
With our leading digi­tal market­pla­ces ImmobilienScout24 in Germany and AutoScout24 in Europe, we inspire people to make their best decisi­ons when it comes to finding a property or a car. Scout24 bund­les indi­vi­dual addi­tio­nal services, such as credit reports, the procu­re­ment of relo­ca­tion services or construc­tion and car finan­cing, in the Scout24 Consu­mer Services busi­ness segment. More than 1,200 employees work on the success of our products and services. We put our users at the center and create a networ­ked offe­ring for living and mobi­lity. Scout24 AG is a listed stock corpo­ra­tion and is traded on the Frank­furt Stock Exchange (ISIN: DE000A12DM80, Ticker: G24). For more infor­ma­tion, visit www.scout24.com.

About FINANZCHECK.de
FINANZCHECK.de, based in Hamburg, is one of the leading inde­pen­dent, tech­­no­­logy-suppor­­ted consu­mer finance plat­forms in Germany. FINANZCHECK.de connects consu­mers with product provi­ders across all chan­nels. Consu­mers bene­fit from signi­fi­cant inte­rest cost savings and higher finan­cing opti­ons, while product provi­ders bene­fit from signi­fi­cantly lower custo­mer acqui­si­tion costs. The goal of FINANZCHECK.de is to become the leading provi­der of consu­mer liqui­dity solu­ti­ons through plug-and-play infra­st­ruc­ture. Direct inter­faces to the IT infra­st­ruc­ture of finan­cial service provi­ders are used to compare >70 consu­mer credit products. The end-to-end plat­form incor­po­ra­tes indus­­try-leading tech­no­logy and custo­mer service to cover the entire lifecy­cle from custo­mer acqui­si­tion to credit appro­val and beyond. For more infor­ma­tion, visit www.finanzcheck.de.

About Acton Capi­tal Partners
Acton Capi­tal Part­ners is a growth inves­tor from Munich for inter­net compa­nies. The invest­ment focus is on star­tups with scala­ble busi­ness models in the areas of online market­pla­ces, e‑commerce, online services, digi­tal media and SaaS. Acton invests in Europe and North America. The team has been working toge­ther success­fully for many years and has inves­ted in over 70 compa­nies since 1999. Its best-known holdings include AbeBooks, Alando, Alpha­Sights, Ciao, Elite­part­ner, Etsy, Holi­day­Check, Linas Matkasse, Lumas, mytheresa.com, OnVista, Windeln.de and zoop­lus. To learn more, visit: www.actoncapital.com.

About btov Partners
btov Part­ners, foun­ded in 2000, is a Euro­pean venture capi­tal firm with offices in Berlin, Luxem­bourg and St. Gallen. The invest­ment focus is on digi­tal and indus­trial tech­no­logy compa­nies. btov mana­ges insti­tu­tio­nal funds, part­ner funds and provi­des access to direct invest­ments for private inves­tors and family offices. Through its three divi­si­ons, the company mana­ges assets of 375 million euros and reviews over 3,000 invest­ment oppor­tu­nities annu­ally. To learn more, visit: www.btov.vc.

About Harbour­Vest Partners
Harbour­Vest is an inde­pen­dent global private equity inves­tor with more than 35 years of expe­ri­ence and more than $50 million in assets under manage­ment. The finan­cial investor’s global plat­form offers clients invest­ment oppor­tu­nities through primary fund invest­ments, secon­dary invest­ments and direct co-inves­t­­ments in commin­gled funds or others. Harbour­Vest employs more than 400 people, inclu­ding more than 100 invest­ment specia­lists in Asia, Europe and the US. The global team has commit­ted more than $34 billion to newly estab­lis­hed funds, comple­ted more than $19 billion in secon­dary purcha­ses, and inves­ted more than $8 billion directly. By part­ne­ring with Harbour­Vest, clients bene­fit in a variety of ways from custo­mi­zed solu­ti­ons, long-stan­­ding rela­ti­ons­hips, key exper­tise, and success­ful results. To learn more, visit: www.harbourvest.com.

About High­land Europe
High­land Europe invests in excep­tio­nal growth soft­ware and Inter­net compa­nies. High­land Europe, the company which has been active in Europe since 2003 as High­land Capi­tal Part­ners and was offi­cially foun­ded in 2012, has raised over €1 billion and inves­ted in compa­nies such as Adjust, Bitmo­vin, ContentS­quare, GetSour­Guide, Malware­bytes, Matches­Fa­shion, NewVoice­Me­dia, Next­hink, Smartly.io and WeTrans­fer. Toge­ther, the sites in the U.S., Europe and China include 46 IPOs and >$19 billion compa­nies. To learn more, visit: www.highlandeurope.com.

Subscribe newsletter

Here you can read about the latest transactions, IPOs, private equity deals and venture capital investments, who has raised a new fund, how Buy & Build activities are going.

Get in touch

Contact us!
fyb [at] fyb.de