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UPDATE 1-Hellman & Friedman raises bid for Germany's Zooplus to $3.9 bln

(Recasts lede with deal value, adds background)

Sept 12 (Reuters) - Zooplus AG, one of Europe’s largest online pet supplies’ retailers, said on Sunday that Hellman & Friedman has raised its takeover offer for the group to 3.29 billion euros ($3.89 billion) from an initial offer of 3 billion euros.

The U.S. private equity firm pitched the new offer at 460 euros per Zooplus share, representing a premium of 5.9% to the German company’s closing price on Friday.

The move came after financial investor KKR this month expressed interest in acquiring Zooplus, becoming the third potential suitor since the takeover battle began in August.

The pet shop chain’s board said last month it had accepted a 390 euro per share offer from Hellman & Friedman, at the time a 40% premium to its last closing price.

The company, which has benefited from rising online demand for pet supplies during the pandemic, said in a statement on Sunday that its management and supervisory boards welcomed the increased offer and intended to recommend it to shareholders.

Hellman & Friedman has already acquired several stakes in German companies in the past, including Axel Springer and AutoScout24. ($1 = 0.8467 euros) (Reporting by Aishwarya Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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