Trade Me takeover battle over after $2.56b offer matched

The multibillion-dollar takeover battle for Trade Me is over, US company Hellman & Friedman having formally withdrawn from the race.

Subject to the approval of shareholders, the High Court and Overseas Investment Office, the sale of Trade Me has been picked to be concluded some time after April next year, after which it will probably be delisted.

After Apax Partners of London made a $2.54billion bid for Trade me, Hellman & Friedman ratcheted up the offer to $2.56billion, which Apax matched last week. The offer amounts to $6.45 a share.

Following Trade Me's full board endorsement of the Apax offer on Wednesday, the company said in a market update yesterday that Hellman & Friedman did not intend to pursue a superior proposal to acquire Trade Me.

Trade Me awaits an independent advisers' report on whether the $6.45 offer was within or above company valuation range. The offer carried a 27% price premium on the previous month's trading value.

Apax is one of the largest private equity companies in the world and its diverse investments include Israel-based Global-e Online, which provides cross-border e-commerce solutions; Genius Sports, a British-based sports data company; and SoYoung, the largest online marketplace for aesthetic medical treatments in China.

Its investments also include MatchesFashion.com and Moda Operandi, British online retailers of luxury goods and fashion, respectively

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