Cinven Buys Idealista for 2.9 Billion Euros

Cinven has acquired 70% of the real estate platform Idealista for around 2 billion euros, while EQT reinvests to retain an 18% stake.

In a landmark deal, Cinven has emerged as the buyer of Idealista, marking the largest acquisition of a tech company in Spain. After a competitive bidding process initiated by the owners of the real estate portal, Cinven secured the deal by offering to purchase 70% of the company’s shares for approximately 2 billion euros. This transaction values the entire company at 2.9 billion euros. EQT, previously the main shareholder of Idealista, will reinvest to hold a reduced 18% stake.

The transaction, first reported by Expansión, results in the exit of the current owners, funds managed by Apax and Oakley, which held 17% and 11% of the shares, respectively. EQT, which has been a key partner since acquiring a majority stake in 2020 with a valuation of 1.325 billion euros, will continue as a shareholder.

Jesús Encinar, the founder and chairman of Idealista, will remain in his role along with his executive team, as he did following the 2015 sale to Apax and the 2020 sale to EQT.

Idealista’s valuation has surged from 1.3 billion euros in 2020 to 2.9 billion euros following several strategic acquisitions and business growth. The company has acquired proptech Inmovilla, rental software Rentger, and, a leading real estate platform in Italy.

At the beginning of the year, Idealista’s owners commissioned Morgan Stanley to start the sale process, which attracted significant interest from various funds. Besides Cinven, bidders included TA Associates, CVC, CPPIB, General Atlantic, and a consortium of Warburg Pincus and Silver Lake. Initially, EQT expected offers around 2.5 billion euros but raised this target following early bids. Cinven, which also owns Hotelbeds, the renewable energy firm Amara NZero, the Burger King master franchisee in Spain, and is a shareholder in Masorange, ultimately presented the winning bid.

The deal, signed today in Madrid, awaits approval from the National Commission on Markets and Competition (CNMC), which could authorize the acquisition “in the coming weeks,” according to Idealista’s statement.

Morgan Stanley served as Idealista’s financial advisor, with Dentons as legal advisor and JBMF as tax advisor.

Jesús Encinar sees Cinven’s entry and EQT’s reinvestment as paving a “new path for Idealista” with a fund that shares its values. Jorge Quemada, partner and CEO of Cinven Iberia, highlighted that the acquisition is one of Cinven’s largest transactions in recent years and expressed the fund’s commitment to “supporting” the executive team in “taking Idealista even further.” Carlos Santana, partner and head of EQT’s Private Capital team in Spain and Italy, emphasized the “future potential of Idealista.”