Advent, Kreke family launch $1.95 billion Douglas bid

FRANKFURT Mon Oct 15, 2012 5:44am EDT

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Private equity investor Advent has made a takeover bid for Douglas Holding DOHG.DE, jointly with the company's founding family, that values the German perfume-to-books retailer at 1.5 billion euros ($1.95 billion).

The 38 euro-per-share offer represents a 9.2 percent premium to Friday's closing price and, according to Advent and the Kreke family, is almost 42 percent above the four-week volume-weighed average share price of Douglas prior to the emergence of takeover rumors in January.

Douglas shares jumped on the news and were trading 7.9 percent higher at 37.54 euros by 0847 GMT.

Advent is joining forces with one of Douglas's current shareholders in a concerted effort to take the company private. Talks between financial investors and Douglas' largest shareholders have been taking place since the beginning of the year.

Advent and Douglas Chief Executive Henning Kreke's family are making the offer via a holding company of which Advent owns 80 percent.

They said on Monday the main objective of the takeover was to accelerate the growth of the perfume and jewelery divisions of Douglas while actively pursuing the restructuring of troubled books business Thalia.

The bidders have already secured commitments from shareholders representing 50.5 percent of shares, but the offer is conditional on reaching a threshold of 75 percent. About two fifths of Douglas's shares are owned by stock market investors, with a bank owning the rest.

($1=0.7712 euros)

(Reporting By Edward Taylor and Maria Sheahan; Editing by Mike Nesbit)

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