German media group Axel Springer plans to delist from the Frankfurt Stock Exchange following a takeover by U.S. investor KKR, the company announced in a news release.
Springer has been listed on the stock exchange since 1985. The company says that going private will free it from focusing on short-term financial targets. The publisher now plans to grow its digital business through strategic investments and ambitious add-on acquisitions.
“Axel Springer plans to withdraw from the stock exchange. A respective application will be made at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange prior to the expiration of the acceptance period of the delisting offer,” the media group said.
The move marks a significant milestone for Springer and New York-based KKR, which acquired approximately 44.9% of Axel Springer’s share capital as part of a public tender offer that closed last year.
Chief executive Mathias Döpfner and Friede Springer, the widow of the company’s founder, both supported the buyout. Together, the duo control a 45.5% stake in Springer and will not tender their shares into the delisting offer. Both Springer and Döpfner will continue to lead the company as part of their agreement with KKR.
Axel Springer is active in more than 40 countries, operating dozens of classifieds sites and brands, including StepStone, TotalJobs, SeLoger, LaCentrale and Yad2.