Private equity house KKR has received acceptances for 14.7% of Springer shares during the additional acceptance period, which ended last week. The final acceptance rate now stands at 42.5%, surpassing the threshold of 20% set by the U.S. investor. A total of 45.9 million Springer shares have been tendered to the offer.
“The offer result is a very strong foundation for the planned strategic partnership with KKR,” Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner said. “In the coming months, we will be focussing our attention on executing our growth strategy, which we will accelerate further.”
KKR also announced its plans to acquire Springer shares outside the public tender offer corresponding to 1.04% of the share capital.
The firm’s €63 ($70 U.S.) per share buyout offer gives Axel Springer an equity value of €6.8 billion ($7.6 billion U.S.). The deal, subject to various regulatory conditions, is expected to close in the coming months.
KKR’s buyout bid has been dubbed the deal of the year in the German media industry. Having brought KKR on board as a long-term investor, Springer now plans to go private and will likely consider large acquisitions in the near future.
Earlier this month Springer reported a second-quarter slowdown due to a weakening economy that hit its jobs classifieds business. The German media conglomerate is active in more than 40 countries, operating dozens of classified brands, including StepStone, TotalJobs, SeLoger, LaCentrale, and Yad2, among others.