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Marc Kitten (EDHEC - Business School); Maÿlis Jaillard (EDHEC - Business School)
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21 pages
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The case tells the story of the 2010 acquisition of listed French property ad website by German media group Axel Springer, via its subsidiary AS Online Beteiligungs GmbH. It is based on the experience of a person directly involved throughout the deal and highlights some practices in M&A transactions. In this case, Axel Springer was accused of mounting a hostile bid using creeping takeover tactics. This led to a fierce 5-month takeover battle, with Axel Springer ultimately accepting to raise its bid by an additional 12% ad taking the control of SeLoger. In addition to hostile takeover tactics, use of advisors, defences, communication with shareholders and negotiations, this mid cap M&A case includes a company valuation, a fair opinion and an analysis of share price fluctuations. It also sheds light on the activism of media companies positioning themselves in the online segment at a time where companies in most sectors were merely trying to recover from the damages of the credit crisis.
Learning objectives:
1. Analyse financial figures and develop a view on the business model of the company. 2. Review the tactics used in a hostile takeover, here specifically a creeping takeover and a timely offer, the defences that can be mounted in the case of a mid size listed company. 3. Discuss the challenges associated with a take private. 4. Practice company valuation skills. The case provides an opportunity to value the company using both multiples and discounted cash flows.
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