Regional press reports suggest that Yellow Pages Group New Zealand may be up for sale. The company was scooped up by private equity buyers (CCMP Capital Asia and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan) in March 2007 for more than NZ$2 billion. Since then, valuations for directory properties have plummeted, though YPG-NZ remains a very profitable company.
Last November, I spoke with YPG-NZ CEO Bruce Cotterill, who estimated at the time that the company lost about NZ$1 billion in value since the March 2007 sale. His job as CEO, as he saw it, was to get the owners their billion back. To do this, Cotterill has focused the company on building value by focusing on developing the digital opportunity and improving execution across all facets of the business.
By testing the market for a sale, the owners will have a guage on how much progress Cotterill has made in restoring the company’s valuation.
In other company news, the restaurant featured in YPG-NZ’s innovative “Yellow Treehouse” ad campaign has won an architecture award. Back in 2008, we blogged about the very clever marketing campaign surrounding the construction of the treehouse restaurant using only materials and services sourced through the Yellow Pages.