August 2, 2019 / 10:58 AM / 4 months ago

UPDATE 1-KKR nears 20% target for Axel Springer buyout

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FRANKFURT, Aug 2 (Reuters) - KKR's tender to buy out minority shareholders in German media group Axel Springer had received 19.2% in acceptances, the U.S. private equity investor said, putting it close to the 20% it needs by the deal's Friday deadline.

The move to take Axel Springer private involves KKR teaming up with Friede Springer, the 76-year-old widow of the company's founder, and CEO Mathias Doepfner. Friede Springer and Doepfner together control a stake of 45.4% in Springer. (nL8N23J0MV)

The buyout offer, at 63 euros per share, puts an equity value of 6.8 billion euros ($7.57 billion) on the business. That represents a 40% premium to the share price preceding the offer made on June 12.

Bid backers hope to gain greater freedom to build Springer's digital portfolio and look for acquisitions away from the eye of sceptical public equity markets.

The update was based on a cut-off time of 6 pm local time (1600 GMT) on Thursday. The offer runs until midnight on Friday.

Reporting by Douglas Busvine Editing by David Goodman

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