Springer Ups Bid For France’s SeLoger To €634 Million

German media group Axel Springer, publisher of the west’s biggest-selling paid newspaper, has had a 12 percent higher takeover offer endorsed by the board of French property classifieds site SeLoger (announcement).

Leading SeLoger shareholders in September disregarded Springer’s initial €34 ($45.26/£28.43)-a-share (€566 ($753.4/£473.23) million) offer as too low. Now the board is recommending shareholders accept a new, €38.05 ($50.65/£31.81)-per-share (€634 ($843.92/£530.09) million) offer.

Springer, led by CEO and chairman Dr Mathias Döpfner, publishes Bild, plus a host of multimedia businesses. Its rationale for buying SeLoger: “(It) represents a significant expansion of Axel Springer’s European footprint in the online classifieds business and therefore perfectly fits with its strategy of digitization and internationalization.”

Springer has been buying up in online classifieds over the last year…

CarWale: It’s taken 52.1 percent of the Indian car classifieds site (India Today Group is taking 18.3 percent).

BagItToday.com: India Today Group has given Springer 19.1 percent of its lifestyle marketplace.

Sohomint.com: Springer’s bought 72.6 percent of the community and content creation platform.

Buy.at: Digital Window, part-owned by Springer, bought AOL’s affiliate ad net.

Springer had bought 12.4 percent of SeLoger at €34 ($45.26/£28.43)-per-share in September and had bid for the rest at the same price – a bid that was rejected. SeLoger will now cancel a planned EGM and a Paris court action it was using to discourage further attention from Springer. Its protestations have won it a higher price.

Springer’s existing 12.4 percent stake makes it more likely the SeLoger board will win approval from the necessary 50.1 percent threshold of shareholders.