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KKR clears way to mop up market researcher GfK's minority shareholders

FRANKFURT, March 17 Private equity firm KKR has struck a deal with six shareholders of GfK that clears the way to squeeze out the German market researcher's minority shareholders.

KKR said on Friday that it will hand over shares in Acceleratio -- the takeover vehicle used for its acquisition of GfK -- in return for a total of 10.8 percent of GfK, lifting KKR and majority shareholder GfK Verein's combined stake to 96.7 percent.

That would allow the enforced buyout of the remaining shareholders, though a KKR spokesman said that no final decision had been made.

Shares in GfK rose 1.5 percent to 49.63 euros by 1312 GMT, 14 percent above the 43.50 euros KKR had offered in its takeover bid. (Reporting by Alexander Huebner; Writing by Maria Sheahan; Editing by David Goodman)

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