US private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) is launching an offer for a substantial minority stake in GfK, and has entered an agreement with its majority shareholder GfK Verein to support the group's long-term growth strategy.
In August, German weekly magazine WirtschaftsWoche reported that GfK might be considering putting itself up for sale. In an announcement made earlier today, KKR said it is launching a 'tender offer' for all outstanding GfK shares, at a price of EUR 43.50 per share in an all-cash deal. GfK says the offer represents an 'attractive premium' of about 44% to the estimated three-month volume weighted average share price prior to the announcement. According to KKR, the tender offer will be subject to a minimum acceptance condition of 18.54%.
Led by its founders Henry Kravis and George Roberts, KKR has extensive experience investing in media and new technologies, and previously counted Nielsen among its portfolio of companies. During KKR's involvement, Nielsen grew its revenues and EBITDA through a combination of investing into its digital operations and acquisitions in strategic growth markets.
Both GfK's Management and Supervisory Boards 'welcome and support' KKR's offer, with the Management Board members saying they intend to accept the offer and tender their personal shares. GfK Verein will retain its 56.46% majority stake in GfK. In addition, GfK Verein and KKR have agreed to jointly support the group's 'further strategic transformation', and pave the way for sustainable profitable growth.
Gerhard Hausruckinger (pictured), Speaker of the Management Board and CCO, comments: 'We welcome the offer by KKR and believe this transaction will significantly benefit our customers and employees while delivering immediate value to our shareholders. The expertise of KKR in the area of market research, their financial strength, and the stability this transaction brings to our shareholder base will help us to drive our strategy forward faster and more effectively'.
Web site: www.gfk.com .
All articles 2006-22 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.