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Zooplus urges shareholders to accept takeover offer

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BERLIN (Reuters) - German online pet supplies retailer Zooplus urged its shareholders on Tuesday to hurry to accept a 3.7 billion euro ($4.29 billion) takeover offer from two private equity companies before it expires on Nov. 3.

The current shareholder acceptance rate for the takeover offer is around 26% compared with the more than 50% needed within the next 40 hours for the deal to happen, Zooplus said in a statement.

Zooplus had already strongly recommended investors accept the cash offer from Hellman & Friedman and EQT Private Equity, which had initially fought a bidding war but then teamed up to buy the retailer.

After the takeover offer expires on Wednesday, it will no longer be possible to tender the shares, the supplier of cat and dog food brands such as Eukanuba, Pedigree and Royal Canin said.

The bidders are offering 480 euros per Zooplus share as they look to tap into a market that has boomed during the pandemic, with more people buying cats and dogs during lockdowns.

Zooplus shares closed at 477.20 euros on Monday.

($1 = 0.8617 euros)

(Reporting by Zuzanna Szymanska; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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