On Tuesday German publisher Axel Springer raised its bid for French property website SeLoger.com SA (SLG.FR) by 12%, valuing the company at EUR634 million, after its initial offer was rejected as too low.
Axel Springer is now offering EUR38.05 per share in cash instead of EUR34 per share previously, and the revised offer has been recommended by SeLoger.com's board.
SeLoger.com responded to Axel Springer's initial offer in September last year by saying it was too low, and took legal steps to try to force the German publisher to raise its offer. SeLoger had called for an extraordinary general meeting to limit shareholder voting rights to 15%, but said Tuesday it has dropped all legal steps and called off the meeting after receiving the revised offer, which represents a premium of 26.8% to SeLoger.com's share price on Sept. 9, the day before Axel Springer first bought a 12.4% stake in the company.
Axel Springer said its new offer is conditional on it reaching a 50.01% majority in SeLoger.com including the stake it already holds.
That would give it the majority of seats on SeLoger.com's supervisory board with at least three independent members designated by the current Supervisory Board of SeLoger.com, Axel Springer said.
"The agreement paves the way for a transaction based on mutual consent between Axel Springer and the board and management of SeLoger.com. Our intention has been friendly from the beginning, and we strongly believe that it is in the best interest of all parties involved that we move ahead on agreed terms," Ralph Buechi, Axel Springer's international operation's president said in a statement.
"The supervisory board of SeLoger.com welcomes this agreement which provides for a significant improvement of the valuation of the group," Geoffroy Roux de Bezieux, Vice-Chairman of SeLoger.com's supervisory board said in the statement.
Berlin-based publisher Axel Springer has invested heavily in digital expansion in recent years but has a strong track record in not overpaying for assets.
The revised offer is at the lower end of an independent valuation of EUR37.10 to EUR40 per share, an Axel Springer spokesman told Dow Jones.
Source Dow Jones News Wires