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Advent baulks at increasing €1.5bn Douglas Holding offer

29 Nov 2012

Advent International has refused to increase its €1.5bn offer for listed German retail group Douglas Holding despite not having enough shareholder support to take control of the company.

The firm has received backing from shareholders controlling just over 55 per cent of Douglas stock, but needs 75 per cent for the offer to succeed, a source close to the deal told AltAssets.

Advent said it intends to jointly develop Douglas alongside the founding Kreke family and pave the way for “sustainable profitable growth”.

The firm announced a voluntary public tender offer for all outstanding shares of for €38 per share in cash, with shareholders receiving a premium of 41.6 percent over the four-week volume weighted average price of €26.83 prior to the emergence of takeover rumours on 11 January 2012.

The acceptance of 50.5 percent of the share capital of Douglas has already been secured. The Kreke family as well as the major shareholders Oetker and Müller have agreed to accept the offer.

Following the deal the Kreke family will become an indirect 20 per cent shareholder in Beauty Holding Three, Advent’s bidding vehicle.

The remaining shares will continue to be held by funds advised by Advent International.

Douglas founder and chairman Jörn Kreke  previously said, “The objective of this transaction is to transfer the Douglas Group into a stable ownership structure, further develop its strategy, and position the group for sustainable profitable growth.

“We are combining the values and entrepreneurial understanding of our founding family with the international market and sector expertise of a globally leading private equity firm.

“We are convinced that Advent International is the right partner for us to strategically reposition the group and, in the interest of the entire group as well as its dedicated employees, to help create further successful growth.”

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