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Last Updated: Monday, 16 May, 2005, 09:56 GMT 10:56 UK
Phonebook firm sells for $2.2bn
Mobile phone keypad with text message key
Phone directories are well-suited to going digital
European phone directories firm YBR Group has changed hands for 1.8bn euros ($2.2bn; 1.2bn) after being put up for sale by its investment firm backers.

It has been bought by another investment consortium, led by a unit of Australia's Macquarie Bank.

YBR has services in eight European countries, providing printed directories, web and mobile searches and directory assistance services.

The Netherlands, Finland, Austria and the Czech Republic are its key markets.

Dial up

Phone directories have adapted well to new digital formats, the Macquarie Bank-led group said in a statement.

Their appeal to investors lies in the promise of steady sales, and web advertising income.

YBR's operations in the Netherlands, Finland, Austria and the Czech Republic are wholly owned by the company.

It also operates in Poland, thorough a 50% joint venture, and provides services in France, Slovakia and Gibraltar.

It was sold by owners 3i group and Veronis Suhler Stevenson.

The buyers' consortium - known as European Directories SA - includes investment firm Macquarie Capital Alliance, Marquarie Bank and clients of its private banking arm, Nikko Principal Investments, and a Canadian investment firm.

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