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The Kelsey Report® Advisory

Hicks Muse Emerges as Buyer in Canada
Charles Laughlin , 1/19/2006

SUMMARY: The mystery buyer of Phone Directories Co.s Canadian properties is none other than private equity firm Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst, which initially gained recognition in the directory space for its buyout of U.K.-based BT Yellow Pages, later to become Yell Group, back in 2001. After making a lucrative exit when Yell went public in 2003, the Dallas-based PE firm has jumped back into the directory industry with a much smaller investment, estimated at about C$100 million. Hicks Muse has purchased an independent operation in Canada with 41 titles and considerable potential. A new management team, led by industry veteran Olivier Vincent, plans to invest in driving better results from existing properties and to expand into more and larger markets through acquisitions and start-ups. The new company, called Canadian Phone Directories, is banking on the view that Canadas directory market, dominated by the formidable Yellow Pages Group, offers plenty of opportunity to a well-funded independent publisher that knows how to execute.

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Copyright© 2006 The Kelsey Group. All Rights Reserved.