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Three buyout groups vie for Scout24’s Autoscout unit: sources

By Reuters Staff

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – German classifieds group Scout24 G24n.DE has picked three private equity firms for the second round of bidding for its autos unit AutoScout24, people close to the matter said on Thursday.

Permira, Apax and Hellman & Friedman have been allowed to proceed in the auction for the unit, which is expected to value AutoScout at 2-2.3 billion euros ($2.2-2.6 billion), they added.

Softbank-backed used-car dealing platform Auto1 had offered to buy AutoScout in the past, only to be turned down by Scout24 earlier this year.

Two people familiar with the matter said Auto1 had not made an offer on its own this time around, while a third person said that it joined forces with Hellman & Friedman in the bidding for AutoScout.

Scout24 and the bidders declined to comment or were not immediately available for comment.

AutoScout24 – which operates in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Austria – bills itself as the largest automotive digital marketplace in the European Union. It lags eBay’s EBAY.O mobile.de in its home market, however.

U.S. activist investor Elliott has argued that Scout24’s auto and property listings businesses have few synergies. It says ImmobilienScout24 could command a standalone valuation of 5 billion euros, while AutoScout24 could fetch up to 2.5 billion euros.

A joint bid by private equity houses Hellman & Friedman and Blackstone to take over Scout24 in its entirety failed in May after a share-price rally squeezed the premium on offer.

Reporting by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Tom Sims and David Evans

German classifieds group Scout24 <G24n.DE> has picked three private equity firms for the second round of bidding for its autos unit AutoScout24, people close to the matter said on Thursday.

Auto Scout

Auto Scout is a feature in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition and Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition. It allows an AI to control a unit to automatically scout the map for the player.

Contents

  • 1 Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition
  • 2 Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition
  • 3 Trivia
  • 4 Video overview

Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition [ edit | edit source ]

Possible search pattern of an AI-controlled scout unit.

Auto Scout was introduced in update 36202 and is only available to the first scouting unit presented to the player at the beginning of a game: Scout Cavalry and Eagle Scouts.

Enabling the option will have the scouting unit explore the entire map in a pre-determined, yet somewhat random pattern. The benefit to this option is that it is one less unit the player has to worry about, allowing the player to keep more focus on other units elsewhere. This is very helpful when there is more than one scout unit, as a player can have an AI-controlled scout, coupled with a player-controlled one – covering areas of the map the AI is not covering.

The downside to this feature is that the auto scouting is not programmed to immediately seek out the enemy’s base, ally’s base or other helpful resources. It also does not scout in the most efficient way that benefits players most, due to the random, sporadic way the AI will scout. This means it will most likely be faster for the player to control the scouting unit for the purpose of gaining helpful resources fast. Because the AI of this feature does not follow the mentality that a human player would, it doesn’t understand the grouping that resources come in. For example, when finding Sheep, the AI will not understand that those animals are commonly found in pairs, meaning that the AI-controlled scout may find just one sheep, then go in a completely different direction without finding the others near it.

This option is not available to other scouting units that were trained from a building. Once this first scout unit is killed, the feature dies with them, meaning it will be permanently gone after that. In campaigns, depending on which units are given to the player, this feature will be completely unavailable in a scenario if a scouting unit is not presented once the scenario begins.

Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition [ edit | edit source ]

Unlike in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition, Auto-Scout in Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition is available for use by scout units such as the Explorer and Explorer’s Dog, and is an ability available from the start of the game. Otherwise, the feature is generally the same as in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition, as the AI controls the unit to scout the map based upon normal AI scouting patterns.

Auto Scout is a feature in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition and Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition. It allows an AI to control a unit to automatically scout the map for the player. 1 Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition 2 Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition 3 Trivia 4 Video overview…