• August 3, 2009
  • Europe, North America

H.I.G. Capital Completes Recapitalization of VNU MediaConsensual Restructuring of a Leading Dutch Online and Print Multi-Media Company

LONDON – August 3, 2009 – H.I.G. Capital (“H.I.G.”), a leading mid-market private equity firm, and its distressed affiliate Bayside Capital, today announced that they have completed the recapitalization of VNU Media in a consensual restructuring in partnership with the incumbent equity sponsor 3i and VNU’s management team.

VNU Media is a leading Dutch online and print multi-media company and a market leader in recruitment IT. The company has a strong brand portfolio including Intermediair, NVB, HRbase and Computable.

VNU experienced deteriorating 2009 results in a difficult cyclical market with an overleveraged balance sheet resulting from its 300M buyout in 2007. H.I.G. acquired a position in the senior debt of VNU in early 2009, and subsequently approached the VNU lender group and the incumbent majority shareholder 3i to restructure the balance sheet. In July 2009, H.I.G. and 3i underwrote a 17.2M new equity investment in VNU, in conjunction with a significant reduction in the amount of debt on the company’s balance sheet, resulting in a healthy capital structure and substantial new capital to fund future investments and growth. Following the restructuring, H.I.G. and 3i will own equal stakes in VNU.

Erik Hoekstra, CEO of VNU Media: “Unanimous consent for restructurings is very uncommon and we believe we are now well positioned for the future. This agreement with H.I.G., 3i and our existing lenders demonstrates a strong belief in our people and our brands and provides us with the funds to take advantage of the current market conditions. Although the downturn has impacted our revenues, the company has remained profitable and we expect to be able to grow EBITDA margins further when the markets recover.”

Matthias Allgaier, Managing Director of H.I.G. Capital: “We are very excited to back an outstanding management team in a fundamentally sound and well positioned business and look forward to working with the team and 3i in growing the company over the coming years. This transaction highlights the constructive role we can play, alongside existing lenders and existing sponsors to help facilitate a restructuring solution for companies facing operational and financial challenges. We anticipate completing many more such recapitalisations in the current difficult economic environment.”

About H.I.G. Capital
H.I.G. Capital is a leading global private equity investment firm with more than $7.5 billion of equity capital under management. Based in Miami, and with offices in Atlanta, Boston, San Francisco and New York in the U.S., as well as affiliate offices in London, Hamburg and Paris in Europe, H.I.G. specializes in providing capital to small and medium-sized companies. H.I.G. invests in management-led buyouts and recapitalizations of businesses across a wide range of industries. With a team of more than 150 investment professionals, most with significant operating expertise, H.I.G. has extensive experience with financial restructurings and operational turnarounds. Since its founding, H.I.G. has invested in and managed more than 200 companies worldwide. The firm’s current portfolio includes companies with combined revenues in excess of $7 billion. For more information, please refer to the H.I.G. website at www.hig.com.

Matthias Allgaier
Managing Director

H.I.G. European Capital Partners, LLP
25 St. George Street
London W1S 1FS
020 7318 5700