US private equity firm KKR is in negotiations with Axel Springer regarding a strategic investment in the German media company.
The state of negotiations provides KKR to launch a public tender offer to the other shareholders of Axel Springer to acquire their shares, according to a statement by Axel Springer.
Axel Springer currently has a stock market value of around €4.9 billion. Friede Springer, the widow of company founder Axel Springer, and CEO Dr Mathias Döpfner currently hold 45.4% of the shares and do not intend to sell their shares in the course of the transaction. The other shares which KKR could acquire have a stock market value of around €2.66 billion.
By this exploration, the executive board is pursuing its growth strategy of increasing the enterprise value in the long-term, according to Axel Springer, adding that KKR, as long-term orientated investor acting jointly in a consortium with Friede Springer and Dr. Mathias Döpfner, would support this strategy.
In the view of the executive board, it is currently open whether there will be a public tender offer and an investment by KKR in Axel Springer or any subsequent corporate structural measures. In particular, legal, tax and financial feasibility still needs to be reviewed in detail by the parties involved.
KKR recently took over four German media and production companies to create a new media group.