Hellman & Friedman, Blackstone make 5.7 billion euro offer for Scout24

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Hellman & Friedman and Blackstone have offered to buy online classifieds group Scout24 for 5.7 billion euros ($6.4 billion), including debt, potentially the biggest takeover of a listed German company by private equity.

The investors said in a statement on Friday that Scout24’s management and supervisory board support the sweetened bid of 46 euros a share, which the private equity firms said represented a premium of 27 percent to Scout24’s unaffected share price.

The offer is subject to a minimum acceptance threshold of 50 percent plus one share, they added.

Shares in Scout24 were up 11.5 percent in early Frankfurt trade.

Last month, Scout24 rejected an offer of 43.50 euros per share.

Scout24, best known for its ImmobilienScout24 home listings in Germany and AutoScout24 car listings across Europe, was previously owned by Hellman & Friedman, which acquired a controlling stake from Deutsche Telekom in 2013 before listing the business in 2015.

Other groups have also vied to buy all or parts of Scout24.

After receiving an approach last year, Scout24 hired investment bank Morgan Stanley to explore strategic options.

Among other, German used-car dealing platform Auto1 proposed a deal for Scout24’s car listings business, sources close to the matter had said last month.

($1 = 0.8871 euros)

Reporting by Vera Eckert and Arno Schuetze; Editing by Riham Alkousaa

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