British firm buys Spanish property portal Idealista for €2.9 billion

THE hugely popular Spanish property portal Idealista has been purchased by British fund Cinven for €2.9 billion. The platform is the leading real estate site in not just Spain, but also Italy and Portugal. 

The deal, which is still subject to approval by market regulators, will see Cinven Fund buy 70% of the company. 

Its founder and chairman, Jesus Encinar, will continue in his role as leader of the company, as he did in 2015 after the portal was sold to other funds managed by Apax and in 2020 when it was sold to the until-now main stakeholder, Swiss fund EQT.

In 2020, EQT acquired a majority stake in the company, which at the time was valued at €1.325 billion. The firm will reinvest in Idealista but will hold a smaller shareholding, of 18%. 

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A man using the Idealista property portal
A man using the Idealista property portal.

Funds managed by Apax and Oakley, meanwhile, which held a 17% and 11% stake in the company, respectively, will sell their holdings and disinvest completely. 

The deal, Encinar said in a statement, was ‘excellent news for Idealista and its team’.

“Four years on from the entry of EQT and Oakley and the reinvestment of the funds managed by Apax, I am very pleased to have helped them sell their stake with an excellent result for their investors,” said the chairman. 

The deal represents the biggest acquisition of a tech company that Spain has ever seen. 

Approval for the deal from Spain’s CNMC market watchdog could arrive in the space of just a few weeks. 

Idealista was founded more than 20 years ago, and sees monthly traffic in the south of Europe of some 38 million unique users. 

The company has offices in Madrid, Barcelona, Malaga, Milan and Lisbon. 

Cinven Fund is an international private equity firm that counts on a near 50-year history.

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