Animal products online store Zooplus announced on Saturday that investment fund EQT in turn intends to launch a takeover bid, backed by management, valuing the company at 3.6 billion euros, 300 million more than the existing competing offer.
In a press release, the management, which had previously been in favor of the takeover by Hellman & Friedman (H&F), now says "
" the alternative proposal and announces that it has signed an "
" with EQT.
This is a new twist in the battle of investors around the Zooplus, founded in 1999 and present in 30 European countries.
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In detail, EQT offers 470 euros per share, 10 more than the previous offer of H & F, already increased after two competitors have expressed their interest.
Things had yet started consensually: on August 13, H&F had announced the signing of an "
" with Zooplus, whose governing bodies at the time supported the takeover bid at 390 euros per share.
Turnover up 18%
But things got more complicated with the confirmation, Thursday September 2 and Tuesday September 7, of two competing offers.
The KKR fund has since put an end to negotiations, while H&F had released its claws in mid-September and offered 460 euros.
EQT has the financial strength and strategic expertise to support Zooplus,
” the company said in a
If the takeover bid is successful, subject to an acceptance rate of 50%, the acquirer intends to “
withdraw at a given time
” Zooplus from the Stock Exchange.
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Based in Munich (southern Germany), the online pet store claims 8 million customers in 2020. Boosted by the coronavirus pandemic, and the restrictions imposed on traditional businesses, Zooplus saw its turnover jump by 18 %, to 1.8 billion euros in 2020.