Scout24 sells AutoScout24 to Hellman & Friedman

BERLIN, Dec 17 (Reuters) – German classifieds group Scout24 said on Tuesday it had agreed to sell AutoScout24 to private equity investor Hellman & Friedman (H&F) for 2.9 billion euros ($3.2 billion).

AutoScout24 – which operates in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Austria – bills itself as the largest automotive digital marketplace in the European Union. It lags eBay’s in its home market, however.

Scout24, which initiated the sale under pressure from U.S.activist investor Elliott, said it planned to return the proceeds from the sale to its shareholders and would now focus fully on its properties listings business ImmoScout24. ($1 = 0.9073 euros) (Reporting by Emma Thomasson; editing by David Evans)