GLNS advises zooplus on delisting

The delisting of the online pet supplies retailer zooplus has been completed. The company was listed on the stock exchange for the last time on 12 January 2022. Since then, zooplus shares have no longer been admitted to trading on the regulated market and the electronic trading system (XETRA) on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Trading was also discontinued on the Berlin Second Regulated Market sub-segment of the Berlin Stock Exchange and on the over-the-counter markets of the Düsseldorf, Munich, Stuttgart and Hanover stock exchanges as well as on Tradegate Exchange.

The two investors Hellman & Friedman and EQT are convinced that zooplus will benefit from no longer operating as a listed company. This will allow the online retailer to better focus on longer-term goals and no longer have to be guided by the short-term expectations of the capital market and the regulatory requirements for listed companies.

Hellman & Friedman and EQT had engaged in a spectacular bidding race for zooplus last autumn. At the end of October, however, the original rivals allied to end the existing stalemate: Together they offered shareholders 480 euros per share in a voluntary public takeover bid. Around 89 percent of the shareholders subsequently accepted the offer.

Subsequently, the investors, through the holding company Zorro Bidco S.à r.l, made a public delisting offer for all outstanding shares. The offer ended on 12 January 2022, which also made the delisting of zooplus effective. In total, Zorro Bidco now holds around 97 percent of the zooplus shares. The successful takeover was worth a total of around 3.6 billion euros, making it one of the largest deals in 2021.

GLNS provided comprehensive advice to zooplus throughout the takeover process and on the delisting. The team, led by Dr Tobias Nikoleyczik, included Dr Bernd Graßl, Malte Krohn, Nadja Crombach (all equity and capital markets) and Dr Anselm Lenhard (financing).

Hellman & Friedman was advised by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

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