Springer shareholders reject offer

Move means co. will not own all of ProSiebenSat.1

Publishing giant Axel Springer will save $212 million in its takeover of German broadcasting group ProSiebenSat.1 after minority shareholders rejected a buyout offer for non-voting preference shares, Springer said Thursday.

This means Springer will not own all of ProSiebenSat.1 but will have full control of the company since it has all the key voting rights.

Springer’s offer for outstanding non-voting shares, which make up half the company’s total share capital, was mandatory under German law.

Springer had reckoned with a purchase price of approximately $517 million for all of ProSiebenSat.1. It is now looking at $304 million for just over 70%.

Most minority shareholders had initially agreed to Springer’s buyout offer but many subsequently made use of a withdrawal right and nixed the offer in view of ProSiebenSat.1’s current share price, which is considerably higher than Springer’s $16.55-per-share tender. Company’s share price on Thursday closed at $17.60.

Springer will nevertheless obtain a further 8.4% from the offer, giving it more than 70% of ProSiebenSat.1.

Springer agreed this summer to take over ProSiebenSat.1 from majority shareholder Haim Saban. Deal still faces approval by federal antitrust watchdogs, although the greenlight is expected by the end of the year.

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