Zooplus (from left) Dr Mischa Ritter, Dr Cornelius Patt und Andreas Maueröder,
The Zooplus board, consisting of (from left) Dr Mischa Ritter, Dr Cornelius Patt und Andreas Maueröder, can be highly satisfied with the outcome of the takeover deal.
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Zooplus AG

Joint acquisition of Zooplus

The takeover battle for Zooplus AG has had a happy ending. Europe's leading online retailer for pet products looks likely to be delisted soon.
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After trying to outbid one another since August, the two financial investors, Hellman & Friedman (H&F) and EQT, finally decided to cooperate with one another. They presented the shareholders with an improved takeover bid of 480 euros per share, an increase of ten euros over the previous bid. The new offer implied an equity valuation for Zooplus of around 3.7 bn euros. The deal also provided for EQT to become a jointly controlling partner with the same governance rights (rights with regard to management of the company - editor's note) in a parent company of Zorro Bidco, a holding company controlled by funds advising H&F. Zooplus would then be taken out of the stock exchange on completion of the transaction. By the time the submission period expired on 3 November, 82 per cent of Zooplus shareholders had agreed to the new bid. Around 17 per cent of irrevocable pre-emption rights were also taken into account.
Zooplus announced that as a consequence of the takeover, one-off transaction costs running into the double-digit million range would be incurred. As a result, the board lowered its forecast for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of intangible assets (EBITDA) for fiscal 2021 as a whole. Earnings of 20 to 35 mio euros are now expected instead of the 40 to 80 mio euros previously anticipated. The sales forecast for 2021, expected to be in a range between 2.04 bn and 2.14 bn euros, remained unchanged.
In fact, the online retailer managed to continue its business trend in the third quarter of 2021 and consolidated its position as Europe's leading online pet supplies platform. Sales rose in the third quarter by 18 per cent to 514 mio euros (same period in previous year: 436.4 mio euros). Overall sales in the first nine months of 2021 came to 1 516.2 mio euros (same period in 2020: 1 298.9 mio euros). The company's private label business contributed 17.6 per cent to total sales in the first nine months (same period in the previous year: 15.8 per cent). Gross profit in the nine months was 456.4 mio euros, equivalent to a gross margin of 30.1 per cent (same period in 2020: 396.3 mio euros, 30.5 per cent). The sales forecast for the full fiscal year 2021 remained unchanged in a range from 2.04 bn to 2.14 bn euros (previous year: 1.8…
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