Investors jointly buy Europe's largest online pet store

Asia's Tech News Daily

Investors jointly buy Europe’s largest online pet store

A Boston Terrier. Photo Getty Images

Where two investment companies fought for a leg, they are now going together.

US private equity firm Hellman & Friedman and Swedish investor EQT are jointly buying German online pet store Zooplus. The largest webshop for food, care products and medicines for pets announced this on Monday. Zooplus has eight million customers in thirty countries.

The deal between Hellman & Friedman (H&F) and EQT puts an end to a fierce takeover battle that began at the end of August. H&F then offered 390 euros per share on the pet store. After a number of competitive bids – and the interest of a third investor, KKR – the acquisition now amounts to 480 euros per share.

The high offer means Zooplus is worth 85 percent more than mid-August

The joint offer makes the online store worth a total of 3.7 billion euros. That is no less than 85 percent more than in mid-August, before the takeover battle erupted. “A remarkable premium,” said Zooplus chairman Cornelius Patt, the offer of both investors in a press release on Monday. The Zooplus management supports the duo offer.

Investors jointly buy Europe’s largest online pet store

Also read: For many home workers, the puppy wish has been fulfilled

Zooplus started in 1999 as a start-up in the German city of Munich. The company mission statement: “Creating moments of happiness for pets and their ‘pet parents’ across Europe.” Zooplus sells products for dogs, cats, birds, hamsters, horses and “other furry and non-fluffy friends”. Of the eight million customers in 2020, five million also made a second purchase in the same year.

The German company has grown into the largest online pet store in Europe measured in sales. In 2020, turnover rose 18 percent to 1.8 billion euros. The pet store claims it has a share of about 7 percent of the European pet supplies market; this is approximately 29 billion euros (online plus offline). Zooplus is listed in Frankfurt.

With the support of the two investment companies, Zooplus wants to invest in digital services, logistics systems and new products and services in the coming years.

The collaboration between the American and Swedish investment company is a rare example of two rivals joining forces, according to the British business newspaper Financial Times.

In February, Blackstone and Global Infrastructure Partners took a similar step, the FT said. The two private equity funds also fought a fierce takeover battle for the publicly traded aviation company Signature Aviation. Ultimately, the two made a joint offer of 3.5 billion pounds (4.2 billion euros) for the private jet operator.

Investment companies are currently paying the highest premiums in more than two decades, averaging 45 percent in Europe, the British business newspaper quotes market research agency Refinitiv as saying.

Investors jointly buy Europe’s largest online pet store
Source link Investors jointly buy Europe’s largest online pet store

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