Zooplus, a major European online pet platform, has welcomed a voluntary public takeover offer by global investment organization EQT, at an offer price of €470 (£400) per share in cash.
This represents a €10 (£8.53) increase compared to the takeover offer previously published by Hellman and Friedman on 14 September, 2021, and a 69% premium to the unaffected share price as of 12 August, 2021.
Zooplus said that the latest offer is “proof of the management board’s commitment to maximizing value for its shareholders while finding a financial and strategic partner to strengthen the company’s competitive lead and to support its ambition to win the growing and fast-evolving European pet category in the long run”.
It added that the move will require investments into digital excellence, “best-in-class” logistics and a broad product and service choice, warning that this will have “adverse” effects on the company’s short- and midterm profitability.
EQT said it intends to delist Zooplus sometime following the closing.
Zooplus said: “With its track record in achieving sustainable growth, expanding market leadership positions and leveraging network effects for its portfolio companies, EQT has the financial strength and strategic expertise to support zooplus in strengthening its long-term leadership position.
“Both parties share the aim of creating long-term value for the benefit of Zooplus’ customers, partners, and employees and have signed an Investment Agreement. In this agreement, EQT has committed itself to support considerable growth investments by the company, zooplus’ sustainable growth strategy, its pan-European footprint as well as its management and employees. EQT also supports that the corporate headquarters in Munich and all other material locations shall be maintained.”