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Axel Springer could take to acquisition trail
Posted on Wednesday, 14 August 2019 12:56
German publishing giant Axel Springer is on the lookout for possible targets, according to the company’s chief executive.

Reuters quoted Mathias Doepfner as saying that he is constantly searching for acquisition opportunities, cautioning that the firm will continue to be disciplined when it comes to the valuation of prospective deals.

The chief executive’s comments come as a planned takeover of the company by KKR nears completion.

Back in June, the private equity firm, via its Traviata II Sarl vehicle, signed on the dotted line to acquire the business for EUR 63.00 per share.

The offer, which equates to a total deal value of EUR 6.80 billion, remains subject to approvals, but has already passed the required 20.0 per cent minimum acceptance threshold needed for completion, which is expected by the end of this year.

In the comments made to Reuters, Doepfner said Axel Springer did not feel constrained by the fact that deal has yet to close.

He added that the firm has no stance on possible purchases of Scout24’s European automotive portal or eBay’s German classifieds assets, both of which have recently been put on the block.

According to Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk, Axel Springer’s most recent acquisition closed in March 2019, when it bought Berlin-headquartered digital content, user data and product information management and analytics software provider CeleraOne.

This was preceded by October 2017’s purchase of the assets of Ad Up Technology and Unister Factory.

Financial details were not disclosed for either transaction.

Axel Springer claims to be Europe’s leading digital publisher and employs around 16,000 people across more than 40 countries.

The firm posted revenue of USD 1.53 billion in the first half of 2019, compared to the USD 1.56 billion generated over the corresponding timeframe in the previous year.

© Zephus Ltd