Hellman & Friedman has matched Swedish private equity firm EQT AB’s 3.4 billion-euro ($3.9 billion) offer to acquire German online pet-food retailer Zooplus AG, continuing a takeover battle.
Hellman & Friedman said it raised its offer to 470 euros a share from 460 euros. The move means that commitments of shareholders who agreed to sell 17% of Zooplus to H&F remain binding, the private equity firm said.
The bidding war for S-DAX listed Zooplus is yet another sign that high valuations aren’t deterring some private equity houses from paying up for targets as they sit on record amounts of unspent capital commitments from their limited partners. Higher prices mean that future returns are harder to come by.
EQT has done deals in the pet industry before, building up a chain of veterinary care practices under the IVC Evidensia moniker.