Certainly everyone is aware that the Spanish TPI (“Paginas Amarillas”—Spanish Yellow Pages) has been up for sale. Bidding came down to two major players, the British Yell telephone directories and Apax Partners and Cinven, a venture capital. On the 28th of April, Telefonica agreed to sell its 59.9% in TPI to Yell for 1.839 million euros. This is definitely big news. Since 2001, when Yell split from the British Telecom, it invested in a number of European and U.S. companies, leading to 135 million in profits. TPI, on the other hand, is a major player in local knowledge. Not only is it the primary phone directory, but it comes with a number of add-ons and extras. Just recently, TPI launched its own local search engine, Noxtrum, which aims to take a bite out of the Spanish search pie. Noxtrum’s search results are powered by Ask.es.
Moreover, TPI’s Paginas Amarillas powers a number of Spanish search engines, for local results. The MSN portal has a yellow pages option, Yahoo also relies on Paginas Amarillas, and even more interestingly, the day TPI’s sale was confirmed, so was an agreement between TPI and Google Spain (read more in the following post) in the new Google Maps launched in Spain.
Turning over TPI to Britain’s primary Yellow Pages is likely to lead to at least some strategic changes. How will Yell take advantage of TPI’s local power in Spain, as well as Latin America?
It’s certainly something to keep an eye on.
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