Australian marketing company Sensis, publisher of the Yellow and White Pages, has been sold for A$260 million to US Nasdaq-listed Thryv Holdings.
Thryv is a supplier of small business software in the US and owner of the Yellow Pages brand in the states.
The price represents a significant haircut for US private equity firm Platinum Equity, which paid Telstra A$452 million for a 70% stake in the venture seven years ago. Telstra will offload its remaining 30% stake in Sensis to Thryv as part of the deal.
Yellow and White Pages brands makes Sensis one of Australia’s oldest companies, which in recent years has pivoted into a tech platform, working closely with Google to offer SMEs a one-stop shop to build, maintain and host websites, digital services such as SEO and SEM, as well as digital display advertising and social media ads. The Melbourne-headquarted venture employs nearly 500 people across Australia.
More than six million searches are made every month on Yellow.com.au.
Sensis CEO John Allan, who will remain in the job and report to Thryv CEO and President Joe Walsh, said the two companies share a similar heritage through the Yellow and White Pages brand.
“Both organisations aim to be the primary partner of SMBs by helping them establish, grow and run their day-to-day business activities from their mobile phone,” he said.
“In recent years, we’ve seen many Australian businesses forced to invest more in IT platforms than actual employees. Thryv ends that fractured, costly, and complex approach.”
The acquisition brings Thryv’s SME software to Australia.
“In the end we both have the same ambition – to be the primary partner of small to medium-sized businesses – helping them to establish and grow,” Allan said.
Thryv boss Joe Walsh said the deal will help Australian small business better compete in a digital economy.
Thryv’s flagship SaaS product lets SMEs accept appointments, build digital customer lists, email and text customers, send reminders and notifications, deliver estimates and invoices, accept contactless payments, and generate online ratings and reviews.
“By introducing the Thryv software to the Australian market, we’re confident we can make an impact on Australian SMBs, the five million people they employ, and the consumers who rely on their small business success,” he said.
“An improved take-up rate then of software and technology in Australia is good for competition, customers the economy and the five million people small businesses employ.”