Zooplus, a leading European online pet platform, has welcomed a joint offer from Hellman and EQT Private Equity, who have partnered to take over the group for a €3.7bn (£3.1bn) joint offer.
This represents a cash consideration of €480 (£404m) per zooplus share, and marks an increase of €10 versus the previous bids by H&F and EQT.
It also marks an 85% premium to the unaffected three-months VWAP of Zooplus as of 12 August, 2021, the day before H&F announced its voluntary public takeover offer for the company.
Zooplus said the planned strategic partnership between H&F, EQT and zooplus will “enable the company to strengthen its competitive lead, gain further market shares and accelerate its efforts to win the growing and fast-evolving European pet category in the long run”.
According to the platform, the move will allow for major investments into digital excellence, logistics and a broad and “innovative” product and service portfolio, which will have adverse effects on the company’s short- and midterm profitability.
Zooplus said it will also benefit from both partners’ “strong track record of delivering sustainable growth and expanding market leadership positions for their portfolio companies and their complementary strategic expertise in the digital, retail and European pet space”.
Dr. Cornelius Patt, CEO of Zooplus, said: “It has been the Management’s top priority throughout the entire process to act in the best interest of the company and maximize the value for our shareholders while providing transaction certainty. With this offer by H&F in partnership with EQT, our shareholders now have the clarity and ability to take an informed tender decision and realize a remarkable 85% premium.
“Given the significant value creation for our shareholders, the complementary expertise of both partners as well as their financial and strategic commitments to the company and its stakeholders, we as the Management Board – together with the Supervisory Board – confirm our recommendation to our shareholders to accept Zorro Bidco’s offer.”