The consortium led by German coffee company Tchibo has signed an agreement to purchase a 40 per cent holding in Nivea creams maker Beiersdorf from German insurer Allianz, upping the stakes in a potential takeover bidding war between the group and consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble.
According to the agreement most of the Allianz shares will be sold to a group consisting of Tchibo Holding Aktiengesellschaft - which already holds a 30.1 per cent share - the city of Hamburg holding company HGV Hamburger Gesellschaft für Vermögens - und Beteiligungsverwaltung and TROMA Alters und Hinterbliebenenstiftung - the Beiersdorf Pension Fund.
According to a report in the Financial Times, the Tchibo consortium paid €130 a share for Allianz's stake, totalling €4.4bn, a more than 20 per cent premium to Beiersdorf's closing price on Wednesday of €107.75.
The FT also noted that P&G, which if successful would benefit from synergies between its Olay brand and Nivea, could afford to outbid the consortium, which sources say has been struggling to get the money together. Yet valued at an estimated €11 billion, the deal would be the company's biggest takeover yet - almost twice the size of the Wella bid earlier this Spring.
As part of the transaction it is planned that Beiersdorf - subject to Supervisory Board Agreement - will buy back up to 10 per cent of its own capital from the group. This offer will be addressed to all shareholders and will include a premium.
In a statement earlier today Beiersdorf said it was 'very pleased' about the agreement adding that it will 'eliminate uncertainties and protect the identity as a publicly listed Beiersdorf AG' .