Hamburg/ New York — An important milestone has been reached on the way to the planned strategic partnership between Axel Springer SE and KKR. Based on the declarations of acceptance received and booked by the custodian banks to date for KKR’s voluntary public takeover offer to all Axel Springer shareholders, more than 20 percent of Springer shareholders have accepted KKR’s takeover offer, both partners announced. If the rate had been below 20 percent, the billion-dollar deal would have collapsed.
Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Axel Springer, said: “This is an important milestone for our planned strategic partnership with KKR. It will allow us to take advantage of additional opportunities and accelerate our growth and investment strategy.”
Julian Deutz, Chief Financial Officer of Axel Springer, said: “We are pleased that the attractive offer from KKR has been accepted. Also in view of the outstanding offer conditions, we are confident that they can be fulfilled in the coming months.”
Pursuant to Section 16 of the German Securities Acquisition and Takeover Act (WpÜG), shareholders who have not yet tendered their shares may still accept the offer at a price of EUR 63.00 per share during the further period provided for by law. This will begin after KKR announces the outcome of the bid in the coming days and will last 14 days.
The execution of the offer remains subject to approval under antitrust law, foreign trade law and media concentration law.
About Axel Springer
Axel Springer is a media and technology company active in more than 40 countries. With the information offerings of its diverse media brands (including BILD, WELT, BUSINESS INSIDER, POLITICO Europe) and classified ad portals (StepStone Group and AVIV Group), Axel Springer SE helps people to make free decisions for their lives. The transformation from a traditional print media house to Europe’s leading digital publisher is now successfully completed. The next goal has been set: Axel Springer wants to become the world market leader in digital journalism and digital classifieds through accelerated growth. The company is headquartered in Berlin and employs more than 16,300 people worldwide. In the 2018 financial year, Axel Springer generated 71 percent of revenues and 84 percent of profit (adjusted EBITDA) from digital activities.