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Rival bidders EQT, Hellman & Friedman team up to raise Zooplus bid to €3.7bn

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Global buyout giants Hellman & Friedman and EQT have teamed up to launch an improved cash offer for German online pet supplies retailer Zooplus at a value of €3.7bn.

The rival firms’ offer of €480 a share represented an increase of €10 from the previous separate offers from the two firms, as they are keen to tap into the market that has boomed during the pandemic.

Zooplus’ management and supervisory boards strongly recommended shareholders to accept the latest offer.

The company’s share price remained steady at around €478 per share after the announcement. The company’s share price had rose 72% since Hellman launched its first offer in August.

Hellman & Friedman offered €3bn for the retailer in August and soon raised to €3.29bn in September. The improved offer drove fellow buyout major KKR out of the running for the potential takeover.

EQT then offered €3.36bn for the business last month with Hellman raised its offer again to match with EQT’s bid.

EQT soared to a €15.6bn final close for its ninth flagship fundraise in April, beating even its hard cap after successfully navigating the Covid-affected capital raising market.

The firm’s latest flagship fund was well above the already hefty €10.75bn Fund VIII the firm closed in early 2018.

Hellman & Friedman completed a sensational fundraise earlier this month by hauling in $24.4bn for Fund X, making it one of the biggest private equity buyout funds ever raised.

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