GLNS has advised its long-standing client zooplus AG on a voluntary public takeover offer by the Swedish private equity house EQT for approximately 3.6 billion euros. In this context, zooplus and EQT have entered into an investor agreement with a view to further build on zooplus’ sustainable growth strategy and to support material investments into strengthening zooplus’ leadership position in the European pet market. GLNS has already advised zooplus in connection with a voluntary public takeover offer by the financial investor Hellman & Friedman. The takeover offer now submitted by EQT represents a counter-offer to such takeover offer by Hellman & Friedman.
zooplus is the leading online pet platform in Europe measured by sales. Founded as a German start-up in 1999, the company’s business model has been successfully launched internationally, dedicated to the mission of creating moments of happiness between pets and pet parents across now 30 European countries. With a large and relevant product offering in the pet food and pet care & accessories range, zooplus caters to more than 8 million pet parents across Europe of which more than 5 million made more than two orders in 2020.
Stockholm-based EQT Partners AB has proven expertise with investments in pet supplies. For example, the portfolio includes IVC Evidensia, a veterinary network, Musti Group, a Scandinavian pet supplies retailer, and the UK pet insurance provider Bought By Many. EQT’s offer of 470 euros per share is 10 euros higher than the offer of Hellman & Friedman. EQT, like Hellman & Friedman, is aiming for a majority stake in zooplus and intends to delist zooplus from the stock exchange sometime after a successful takeover.
GLNS provided comprehensive legal advice on the transaction with partners Dr Tobias Nikoleyczik and Dr Bernd Graßl, counsel Malte Krohn and associate Nadja Crombach (all Public M&A / Capital Markets) and partner Dr Anselm Lenhard (Finance).
Bettina Burkämper (General Counsel) acted for zooplus in-house. The regulatory aspects of the transaction were covered by the law firm Buntscheck with partner Dr Andreas Boos.