KKR buyout at Axel Springer clears minimum acceptance threshold

FILE PHOTO - CEO of German publisher Axel Springer SE Mathias Doepfner holds a speech during the annual news conference in Berlin, Germany, March 8, 2018. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

BERLIN (Reuters) - KKR's KKR.N offer to buy out minority shareholders in Axel Springer SPRGn.DE has cleared its minimum acceptance threshold of 20%, both firms said on Monday, bringing a plan to take the German publisher private closer to completion.

“This is an important milestone for our planned strategic partnership with KKR,” Axel Springer’s Chief Executive Officer Mathias Doepfner said in a statement. Completion of the deal remains subject to various regulatory approvals.

The U.S. private equity house, acting in concert with main shareholders Friede Springer and Doepfner, tendered to buy out minorities for 63 euros a share on a transaction putting an equity value on Springer 6.8 billion euros ($7.6 billion).

Their partnership would run for at least five years, and seek to invest in long-term growth without facing the scrutiny that comes with a public stock market listing.

($1 = 0.8988 euros)

Reporting by Tassilo Hummel