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Clairfield advises SoLocal Group for the sale of QDQ Media to AS Equity Partners

SoLocal Group, a Euronext-listed digital marketing company, sold its Spanish subsidiary QDQ Media to AS Equity Partners.

Solocal Group (PA:LOCAL) is a major player in the French marketing technology universe, with over EUR 584 million in revenue. The company provides digital marketing and advertising services, as well as transactional and digital content production services. Solocal is a long-standing client of Clairfield International.

QDQ Group is a group of three digital marketing companies. The company initially focused on the sale of printed guidebooks. In 2004 Solocal purchased QDQ and began the digital transformation of the company. SoLocal eventually decided to divest QDQ as there was little synergy between its software platforms and little crossfertilization with its other businesses.

The digital marketing landscape is constantly shifting as marketing moves towards digital and Google eats up an ever larger market share.

QDQ Group is a group of three digital marketing companies (QDQ, Optimiza, and Trazada), each of which is dedicated to a particular customer segment. The history of the group dates back to 1997. The company initially focused on the sale of printed guidebooks. In 2004 Solocal purchased QDQ and began the digital transformation of the company. QDQ acquired Optimiza and Trazada in 2011 and finalized its transformation in 2013. In recent years the company was in a difficult financial situation due to its restructuring and the transformation process it undertook going from a print based to digital company. In 2018 the turnaround was completed and QDQ generated enough profit and cash to be independent of its parent company. Solocal eventually decided to divest QDQ as there was little synergy between its software platforms and offered little crossfertilization with its other businesses. With this divestiture Solocal exits the Spanish market.

Clairfield International acted as exclusive financial advisor to Solocal Group. Solocal was a long-standing client of Clairfield International. In 2017 Clairfield advised the sale of its online real-estate classifieds business, avendrealouer.fr, to leboncoin Group. The QDQ mandate was not an easy one to execute as QDQ was loss-making in the past. It was a former turnaround situation with many peaks and valleys on the balance sheet. In addition the digital marketing landscape is constantly shifting with many players as marketing moves towards digital and Google eats up an ever larger market share. Numerous strategic buyers declined the opportunity. The deal team turned to private equity investors. Several offers were not accepted before Bertrand Hermez, head of Clairfield’s TMT sector group, together with the Spanish team, identified AS Equity as the ideal buyer. AS Equity specializes in carve-outs for European digital midmarket companies. QDQ is the perfect fit for them and AS Equity plans to further consolidate with another player to be acquired in the medium term.

Software, tech & digital

Drapeau France Drapeau Spain Drapeau Switzerland

Sale

Advisor to the sell side

Services :

Mergers & acquisitions

Sectors :

Software, tech & digital

Countries involved :

France
Spain
Switzerland

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