Estonian owner sells Baltic classifieds businesses to Apax Partners funds

Published: 19.03.2021 | BCG

The owner of Lithuania's online news site 15min.lt and the Baltic News Service (BNS) has decided to sell his classifieds businesses in the Baltic countries to funds advised by London-based Apax Partners.

Estonian businessman Margus Linnamae, the majority shareholder of the investment company UP Invest, says the deal on the sale of Baltic Classifieds Group (BCG) is expected to be closed by July.

Financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

“UP Invest will use the money to fuel expansion of other group companies, including media businesses in the Baltics, and look for new and exciting investment opportunities in other fields,” Linnamae said in a statement.

Apax Partners said it was their first investment in the Baltic countries.

“We look forward to investing in BCG further, with the support of our Operational Excellence Practice, to enhance the great value these marketplaces provide for advertisers and consumers,” Tom Hall, partner at Apax Partners, said in a press release.

“We are confident in the growth prospects of the region and have been very impressed with its business friendliness, pragmatism and entrepreneurial culture,” he added.

Justinas Šimkus will continue as CEO of BCG.

In Lithuania, the company owns the online classifieds platforms Aruodas.lt, Autoplius.lt, Cvbankas.lt, Kainos.lt, Paslaugos.lt and Skelbiu.lt.

The media organizations owned by Linnamae-controlled businesses include 15min.lt. BNS, the Estonian daily Postimees and the Latvian online news site TV Net.