CentralNic uses placing, bond proceeds to buy Germany’s VGL

Internet platform company CentralNic announced on Tuesday that it has completed the acquisition of the Berlin-based VGL Verlagsgesellschaft and its subsidiaries from its former shareholders.
The AIM-traded firm said VGL was acquired for an enterprise value of €60m (£49.9m), with an initial consideration of €67m including adjustments for cash and working capital.

It said the acquisition was expected to be “double-digit” earnings-enhancing for the financial year ending 31 December, even before the realisation of any synergies.

The board said the acquisition was financed by an oversubscribed placing to institutional investors, raising gross proceeds of £42m at a fixed price of 120p per share.

That was complemented by the issue of additional senior secured callable bonds for a nominal value of €21m under CentralNic’s existing senior secured bond, listed on Oslo Børs, at a price of 100.8% par value.

The bond issue was subscribed for by Macquarie Principal Finance UK on the same terms as CentralNic’s existing bond issue.

Additionally, CentralNic noted that Financial Times had listed it among the top 250 fastest-growing companies, and among the top-50 fastest-growing technology companies in Europe for 2022.

The company noted that its compound growth rate over the last seven years – since its AIM initial public offering – had been 73%, as iut went from $4m in revenues to more than $400m.

In 2021, CentralNic’s organic growth was 39%, contributing to overall revenue growth of 71%.

“We are delighted to see that CentralNic Group has been recognised as one of Europe’s fastest-growing companies,” said chief executive officer Ben Crawford.

“Joining forces with VGL, a major milestone on the road to becoming a world-leading online services marketplace, will allow us to continue to deliver our outstanding growth performance in 2022 and beyond.”

At 1222 GMT, shares in CentralNic Group were up 4.96% at 119.65p.

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