August 14, 2019 / 8:57 AM / 9 months ago

Axel Springer on lookout for M&A even as KKR deal awaits closing

FRANKFURT, Aug 14 (Reuters) - Axel Springer is on the lookout for acquisition opportunities, CEO Mathias Doepfner said on Wednesday, adding the German publisher did not feel constrained even though a buyout of its minority shareholders has yet to close.

U.S. private equity investor KKR has won acceptances to buy 27.8% of shares in Springer, in a deal backed by the publisher's main shareholders. The transaction is subject to approval and is only expected to close towards the end of the year.

Asked whether he was in the market for acquisitions, Doepfner said he was on a constant lookout. With KKR on board, Springer can contemplate larger deals but would not allow its valuation discipline to slip, he added.

He said, however, that Springer had "no concrete thoughts" concerning Scout24's European autos portal or eBay's German classifieds assets that include the top autos marketplace (Reporting by Douglas Busvine Editing by Michelle Martin)

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