Hellman & Friedman acceptance period for Zooplus runs to Oct. 12

MUNICH (Reuters) – U.S. private equity firm Hellman & Friedman said on Tuesday it has until Oct. 12 to secure a majority stake in Zooplus AG, one of Europe’s largest online pet supplies’ retailers.

H&F gave the official go-ahead for its 3.3 billion euro ($3.9 billion) takeover offer after Germany’s financial regulator Bafin approved the deal. H&F raised its offer from an initial 3 billion euros on Sunday.

The increased offer came after financial investor KKR expressed interest in acquiring Zooplus, becoming the third potential suitor since a takeover battle began in August.

The company, which has benefited from rising online demand for pet supplies during the pandemic, said in a statement on Sunday that its management and supervisory boards welcomed the higher offer and intended to recommend it to shareholders.

H&F has already secured 17% of Zooplus after the company’s board of directors and two investors already agreed to sell them their shares.

Hellman & Friedman has already acquired several stakes in German companies in the past, including Axel Springer and AutoScout24.

($1 = 0.8469 euros)

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