Blackstone, H&F $5.5 Billion Bid for Germany's Scout24 Fails
(Bloomberg) -- Scout24 AG’s shareholders rejected a 4.9 billion-euro ($5.5 billion) bid for the German classifieds company from private equity firms Blackstone Group LP and Hellman & Friedman.
Investors holding 42.8% of the stock accepted the 46-euro-per-share offer. The minimum threshold for the bid to succeed was 50% plus one share by the end of the acceptance period on May 9, according to a statement from the bidders on Tuesday.
Blackstone and Hellman & Friedman ruled out extending or improving their offer earlier this month, signaling they were willing to walk away from the deal if investors rejected the terms. Several top-10 shareholders weren’t willing to tender their shares at the current price, people familiar with the matter said previously.
A tie up with the private equity giants, whose consortium was called Pulver Bidco, could have given Munich-based Scout24 additional firepower for acquisitions as it competes with Axel Springer SE and EBay Inc. for classified clients.
Scout24’s platform offers classified ads for real estate, financing and cars. The business has been helped by a buoyant economy that has boosted employment and demand for real estate. The company added financial news site Finanzcheck to its assets last year.
What Bloomberg Intelligence Says
“The failure of the bid by private equity consortium Pulver Bidco puts the emphasis back on Scout24’s performance, in our view, with mid-teens underlying revenue and Ebitda growth likely to be sustained.”
--John Davies, telecom, media and internet analyst
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Hellman & Friedman and Blackstone originally bought a controlling stake in Scout24 in 2014 from Deutsche Telekom AG before taking the company public in 2015. Rival buyout firms including EQT Partners, Silver Lake and KKR & Co. were also interested in bidding for the company, people familiar with the matter said previously.
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