Yell Group Analysis

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Bidding on the Yell Group 1. Introduction Yell Group consists of two businesses that are operating across countries. Yellow Page is a classified directory business in the UK, while Yellow Book is an independent directory business in the USA. These businesses are currently owned by British Telecom which is under pressure to reduce its heavy debt load and had been wavering for months about the future of these two Yellow Pages divisions. Apax Partner and Hick Muse are two private equity firms that are interested in the acquisition of the Yell Group by using debt for a majority of the purchase price and equity for the remainder. The deal is crucially important to both Apax and Hicks Muse because of its high visibility — simply by…show more content…
The U.K. business is subject to heavy regulation which will restrict the price. Thus the only way to expand profits is through the advertisement volume. Unfortunately, the growth in the classified directories advertising market has been declining over the last few decades and will probably continue in this tendency even though the total advertising market has seen increasing growth. The potential good opportunities for this business could be the additional divisions that BT Yellow Pages owned. Prospective investment indicated these businesses are in the early stages. The U.S. market is an important source of new business for SMEs throughout the country and the independents are projected to increase their market share from 11% to 30% over the 2000 — 2005 period. For Yellow Book, this growth is to be fueled by expansion efforts as launching new directories into contiguous markets and launching wide area books into cities without an independent presence. In terms of the industry life cycle, BT Yellow Pages is most likely in the late maturity / early decline stage while Yellow Pages USA was still in the growth phase. These factors combined with the buyers’ investment horizon will influence their exit strategy. Yell Group Ltd. provided Apax and Hicks Muse team with projections for both BT Yellow Pages and Yellow Book USA based on what a potential growth in the upcoming years. Since Yell is trying to sell their
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