Sweden’s EQT buys Idealista property site for €1.3bn

Swedish private equity firm EQT said on Thursday it agreed to acquire Madrid-based online real estate classifieds platform Idealista for a transaction price of €1.3 billion from funds advised by Apax Partners and management.

Idealista management will re-invest “significantly” in the company while the EQT IX fund will have majority ownership.

“Idealista’s management team, including founder and CEO Jesús Encinar, will continue to lead the company, building on its strong track record of growth and innovation,” said EQT.

“Founded in 2000 and headquartered in Madrid, Spain, idealista supports approximately 40,000 real estate agents and 38 million unique monthly visitors across Southern Europe by providing an online real estate classifieds marketplace for home buyers and sellers.

“The company’s online platform and diversified portfolio of digital services, such as CRM tools, data analytics, and online mortgage brokerage, help enable efficient real estate transactions, making it a key destination for prospective homeowners and sellers in Spain, Italy, and Portugal.”

Bert Janssens, Partner and Global Co-Head TMT at EQT Partners and Investment Advisor to EQT IX, said: “Idealista represents a truly thematic investment, within one of EQT’s core sub-sectors.

“This investment fits strongly with EQT’s focus of investing in high growth companies and partnering with world class management teams.

“We are impressed by the market leading position Idealista has built over the past 20 years and EQT is excited to support Idealista and its entrepreneurial management team in this next stage of growth.”

Carlos Santana, Managing Director and Head of EQT Private Equity in Spain at EQT Partners, and Investment Advisor to EQT IX, said: “EQT believes that idealista has the potential to grow at an accelerated pace.

“Together with Jesús and the management team, EQT will support further expansion within idealista’s core markets and consolidate its leadership position in Southern Europe.

“The investment in Idealista further demonstrates EQT’s commitment to pursue investment opportunities in the region.”

Idealista CEO Encinar said: “We are very excited to partner with EQT and look forward to working together during the coming years.

“EQT’s online classifieds and real estate expertise, local presence in Spain and Italy, and extensive network of advisors will be of great value for us and key to our future success.

“Idealista and EQT share a similar culture and passion for growth, a key decision factor for me and my team to partner with them.”

The transaction is expected to close subject to customary approvals in December 2020. 

PwC, Allen & Overy, and Freshfields served as advisors to EQT, while Evercore served as advisor to Apax and idealista.