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Hellman & Friedman offers to buy Nets for $5.3bn

Published 26 September 2017

Danish payments firm Nets has welcomed a DKK33.1bn ($5.3bn) takeover bid from Hellman & Friedman of the US.

Evergood 5 AS, controlled by funds managed and advised by Hellman & Friedman, said it will submit a voluntary recommended public takeover offer to buy the entire share capital of Nets at DKK165  per share in cash.

The offer, representing a 27% premium to the share price of Nets on June 30, 2017, will be subject to merger clearance and regulatory approvals and acceptance by shareholders representing 90% of Nets’ capital.

Nets shareholders representing 46% of the company’s share capital have agreed to the offer. The Board of Directors has decided to recommend that Nets’ shareholders accept the offer when made, after considering all options.

On 1 July 2017, Nets confirmed that it had been approached by potential buyers and was reviewing its options. On 1 September 2017, Nets said that discussions on a potential takeover offer were still ongoing.

Discussions have been held with multiple parties, resulting in one binding and attractive offer.

The deal is set to be the third biggest acquisition in Europe by a private equity fund during the last five years and the second biggest in 2017 so far.

The offer is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2018.

JP Morgan and Nordea are acting as joint financial advisors and Gorrissen Federspiel is acting as legal advisor to Nets. Deutsche Bank advised Hellman & Friedman.

Nets chairman Inge Hansen said: “We believe the offer represents attractive value to Nets’ shareholders. Hellman & Friedman approached us in June, following which we received a number of other expressions of interest and held discussions with selected parties.

“Having considered all options available to us, including continuing as a listed company, we are satisfied that the cash offer of DKK165 per share to all shareholders is the most attractive alternative available. We believe Hellman & Friedman is a responsible, growth-oriented owner who will be able to take a long-term strategic approach to the development of Nets to the benefit of our stakeholders.”

Image: Hellman & Friedman offers to buy Nets for $5.3bn. Photo: courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.