KKR’s acquisition of 18.54 percent stake in German market researcher GfK


The previously announced tender offer for GfK SE by Acceleratio Capital N.V., a holding company controlled by funds advised by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P.

Private equity firm KKR (KKR.N) has acquired a 18.54 percent stake in German market researcher GfK.

Shareholders in GfK, best known for its consumer confidence indices, have tendered their holdings to KKR by a Friday midnight deadline, a spokeswoman said on Saturday. Together, KKR and GfK Verein now control at least 75 percent of the company.

Shareholders had only tendered 14.5 percent of stock in GfK, still short of the minimum threshold of 18.54 percent.

New York-based KKR, known for successfully turning around media companies, has said it sees opportunities to transform GfK into a technology-based market research leader.

Its 43.50 euros a share offer for GfK was contingent upon reaching a 18.54 percent threshold. Shareholders in GfK who have not yet taken the offer will continue to be able to sell stock at the same price between Feb. 16 and March 1.

Acceleratio Capital said its offer represented a premium of about 44 percent over GfK’s three-month average share price before news of the offer, valuing the company at a total of around 1.59 billion euros.

KKR said the deal was conditional on holders of at least 18.54 percent of GfK’s shares accepting its offer, resulting in a minimum 293 million euro investment by KKR.

U.S. businessman Michael Dell, founder of Dell Technologies (DVMT.N), has also been building a stake in GfK. Dell’s MSD Capital fund manages more than $12 billion in assets, the company says on its website, which lists merger arbitrage as one of its investment strategies.

Jones Day has advised GfK SE on the deal with a team led by Ansgar Rempp.

Involved fees earner: Ansgar Rempp – Jones Day;

Law Firms: Jones Day;

Clients: GfK SE;