The media company Axel Springer does not want his shares to be traded on the stock exchange after 35 years. For the so-called delisting, an application will be made to the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, the company said. The Berlin-based company agreed a strategic partnership with the US financial investor Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) last year. The goal is to grow even faster and stronger in digital businesses.
KKR had a takeover offer to shareholders last year
acquired a large part. KKR
currently holds around 44.9 percent of the shares. It's about
3.6 percent of the shares held by various smaller investors. The shareholders now have before the planned withdrawal from the stock exchange
the opportunity to sell their shares in KKR. KKR offers them 63 euros per share and thus corresponds
the price that KKR made for the takeover bid last year
The founder's widow, Peace Springer, and CEO Mathias Döpfner together hold around 45.4 percent of the share capital of
Axel Springer. According to the message, they want the delisting offer
not sell any shares held directly or indirectly by them.
The founder's grandchildren, Ariane Melanie Springer and Axel Sven Springer, also sold part of their holdings to the US financial investor. In total, their remaining shares are now 6 percent. It should stay that way. A spokeswoman for KKR said: "The grandchildren will not put their shares in the delisting offer. They want to continue to accompany the change in the company." The Springer Group also confirmed this.
Voluntary withdrawal is unusual
The managing director of Frankfurt Stock Exchange, Cord Gebhardt, explained that around 20 companies leave the Frankfurt Stock Exchange each year. The fact that a company withdraws from the marketplace at its own request – as Springer now intends to do – "does not happen so often," he said. The Axel Springer share has been listed on the stock exchange since 1985. There are a total of around 107.9 million shares.
Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner had an interview in autumn 2019 with Süddeutsche ForexNews.onlineung Regarding the cooperation with KKR that was still planned at the time: "It is a new era in the sense of a liberation. We can implement our growth strategy with a partner who does not think about the next quarterly result, but now supports that, also financially, in five years time maximizes the value of the company. "
In the 2018 financial year, group-wide sales were around 3.2 billion euros. Around 70 percent came from digital activities. In addition to the journalistic content, among other things with the brands image and world
the group has been operating for more than 16,000 employees
digital classifieds. These include the StepStone Group (online job exchanges) and real estate portals such as Immowelt.de. At the end of September, the group had announced that it would spend millions in projects for its brands image and world invest, but at the same time want to reduce personnel in the group.