Higher offer made for Trade Me
New Zealand’s largest online marketplace Trade Me has received a $2.56 billion takeover offer from a US-based private equity firm.
Hellman & Friedman has offered Trade Me $6.45 a share, trumping an earlier indicative bid from UK-based private equity firm Apax Partners at $6.40 a share, or $2.54b.
In a statement released on December 5, Trade Me said it has advised Apax Partners of the competing proposal but has decided it will also engage with Hellman & Friedman on the new bid, which is subject to certain conditions and completing due diligence.
"Apax Partners is undertaking due diligence on an exclusive basis following its preliminary, non-binding, indicative proposal announced on November 21, 2018,” said Trade Me. “This exclusivity is subject to a “fiduciary carve out” that allows Trade Me to engage with third parties on unsolicited proposals."
"The Board has decided that it is in the interests of Trade Me and consistent with its fiduciary obligations to also engage with Hellman & Friedman on the new proposal.
"The Board notes that there is no certainty either proposal will result in an offer, or any other transaction, for Trade Me."
Hellman & Friedman is a San Francisco based private equity fund manager which focuses on large-scale equity deals in select sectors. Last year it was one of several bidders for Australian publisher Fairfax Media Group and its online real estate listings unit Domain.
Trade Me is being advised by Goldman Sachs.