Sensis and Australian Yellow Pages sold to US software company for $ 260 million

Australian SME marketing services company and owner of the yellow and white pages, Sensis, was sold in a $ 260 million deal to US small business software player Thryv Holdings.

The deal comes seven years after Telstra sold a 70% stake in the company Sensis to US private equity firm Platinum Equity, for $ 425 million, and the remaining 30% of the stake still held by Telstra were also taken over by Thryv, a company listed on the Nasdaq. .

The total purchase price of $ 260 million is a far cry from the previous sale price, and Telstra noted an impairment loss of $ 34 million for the Sensis investment in its last half-yearly financial report as well as an increase of 95 millions of dollars of associated liabilities.

Sensis is described as one of Australia’s oldest continuously operating companies. The Melbourne-based organization has 200,000 clients in the small business market and provides SEO, SEM, social advertising and display and website development services. It has nearly 500 employees.

Under the latest agreement, Sensis CEO John Allan will remain in office and report to Thryv CEO and Chairman Joe Walsh. Allan said joining forces with Thryv was exactly what the company needed.

Thryv already owns the yellow pages in the United States and provides software for small businesses to accept appointments, create digital customer lists, send emails and texts to customers, send reminders and notifications, deliver quotes and invoices, accept contactless payments, and generate online reviews and reviews.

“Our organizations share a similar heritage through our profitable Yellow and White Pages brands, which we will continue to develop,” said Allan. “The two organizations aim to be the primary partner of SMEs by helping them establish, develop and manage their daily business activities from their mobile phone.

“In recent years, we have seen many Australian companies forced to invest more in IT platforms than in their workforce. Thryv puts an end to this fractured, costly and complex approach.

Allan stressed that the scale, knowledge and proven offerings of Thryv software are essential to help Sensis find a differentiated position in the Australian SME market.

“Greater adoption of technology is good for the Australian economy as a whole. At the end of the day, we both have the same ambition – to be the main partner of small and medium-sized businesses – to help them establish and grow, ”he said.

Walsh too, the deal is a transformational acquisition for Thryv and will help small Australian businesses compete better in a digital economy. He added that Thryv will work to better understand the needs of Australian SMEs before rolling out its product nationwide.

“While I’m sure there will be some differences in the Australian market, small business owners in the two countries no doubt face similar challenges. online, ”Walsh commented.

The acquisition of Sensis is part of Thryv’s strategy to grow internationally where, said Walsh, “small businesses are ready to modernize their operations in order to serve their customers faster and more efficiently – from anywhere. where, including mobile devices ”.

“By bringing Thryv software to the Australian market, we are confident that we can have an impact on Australian SMEs, the five million people they employ and the consumers who rely on the success of their small businesses.

Over the past seven years, Yellow has strived to move from its traditional printed directories to a digital-focused business with its database of 200,000 small and medium-sized businesses. It is Google’s biggest customer in Australia and boasts 6 million monthly searches through the platform.

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Calvin W. Soper

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