By Emma-Victoria Farr and Amy-Jo Crowley
FRANKFURT/LONDON (Reuters) -German advertising group Stroeer is considering possible options for the sale of Statista in 2024, in a process which could value the data gathering business at up to 1.5 billion euros ($1.6 billion), four sources familiar with the matter said.
Private equity firms are looking at Statista ahead of a formal sale process, which is likely to kick off later next year, the sources told Reuters.
Another option could be to list Statista on the NASDAQ exchange in the US, one of the sources said.
Stroeer is working with JP Morgan on strategic options for the business, two of the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
JPMorgan declined to comment.
Stroeer shares spiked to a session high after the news, rising as much as 4.6% and were on track for their biggest daily jump since January.
Deliberations are at an early stage and the timing of any sales process is dependent on an improvement in market conditions and therefore may not materialise, one source said.
Statista's trading performance has fluctuated over the last year, another source said.
Statista CEO Friedrich Schwandt, said in July 2022 that the firm was expecting to grow by 20-30% annually in the medium term, anticipating sales of around 250 million euros ($268 million) by 2025, in its latest available results.
Stroeer is preparing vendor due diligence together with JP Morgan for its consumer asset Asam Beauty, with a sale to begin in Q4, a company spokesperson said. Only once this transaction is finished will a Statista process begin, they added.
Stroeer said in its latest results that it was starting a divestment process for Asam, which "will create significant value for shareholders and underscore the value of our core business," according to Stroeer co-CEO Christian Schmalzl.
Asam sits alongside Statista in Stroeer's data-as-a-service and e-commerce division, which it has signalled as non-core to its advertising business.
Statista is viewed as non-core because the rest of Stroeer operates out-of-home advertising, online advertising and billboards across Germany. A sale would allow Stroeer to take advantage of high multiples in the sector, the sources said.
Stroeer acquired a 78.8% majority stake in Statista in December 2015 for around 57 million euros ($61 million).
The remaining stake in the Hamburg-based data and business intelligence portal was held by its founders, until Stroeer bought them out to become sole shareholder in May 2019.
($1 = 0.9326 euros)
(Reporting by Emma-Victoria Farr in Frankfurt and Amy-Jo Crowley in London; Editing by John O'Donnell, Alexander Smith and David Evans)