Barclays Private Equity takes over COMPUTERLINKS AG
- Takeover offer by CSS Computer Security Solutions Erwerbs GmbH to all shareholders of COMPUTERLINKS AG successful
- Minimum acceptance rate for the offer clearly exceeded by the end of the offer period
- Shareholders can still accept the offer until 27 August 2008
- Merger control clearance expected by the end of the extended offer period
- Following successful completion of the offer, a rapid implementation of the common growth strategy for COMPUTERLINKS is planned
CSS Computer Security Solutions Erwerbs GmbH, an acquisition company in which currently one fund (in the future several funds) managed by Barclays Private Equity has an indirect stake, today announced that the minimum acceptance rate for the voluntary public tender offer to the shareholders of COMPUTERLINKS AG at EUR 15.50 per bearer share has been reached. According to the bidder, the takeover offer was accepted for a total of 5,668,432 shares of COMPUTERLINKS AG by the end of the offer period at midnight CEST on Friday, 8 August 2008. This equates to 84.15 percent of the share capital and of the voting rights of COMPUTERLINKS AG. As a result, the minimum acceptance rate of 4,935,203 shares, or 73.3 percent of the currently issued share capital of COMPUTERLINKS AG, set for the takeover offer has been clearly exceeded.
According to section 16 para. 2 sentence 1 WpÜG (Securities Acquisition and Takeover Act), shareholders of COMPUTERLINKS AG who have not accepted the offer yet, now have the opportunity to to do so within the next two weeks, i.e. up to midnight CEST on 27 August 2008.
The takeover offer is currently still subject to merger control clearance by the European Commission. Such clearance is expected to be granted within the extended offer period, which ends on 27 August 2008.
The Management Board and the Supervisory Board of COMPUTERLINKS AG has appreciated the offer by Barclays Private Equity from the beginning. In the reasoned opinion dated 10 July and the additional reasoned opinion statement dated 29 July, the Boards recommended the shareholders to accept the offer. Furthermore, the members of the Management Board - and further management personnel of COMPUTERLINKS AG - had also declared their intention to accept the offer with regard to their own shares and future shares resulting from stock options.
"We are very pleased to have found, in Barclays Private Equity, an investor which has both a fundamental understanding of our business model and the expertise to bring forward the strategic development of COMPUTERLINKS in cooperation with the existing management.
Now, together with Barclays, we will make even more targeted efforts to exploit market opportunities and accelerate our market growth," said Stephan Link, CEO of COMPUTERLINKS AG.
"The success of the offer shows the confidence of the COMPUTERLINKS shareholders in pushing ahead with the strong growth of the company outside of the stock exchange with Barclays Private Equity as a reliable and financially strong partner," underlined Michael H.
Bork, Managing Director of Barclays Private Equity.
After the outstanding approval has been granted by the European Commission and the takeover has been successfully completed, the Management Board of COMPUTERLINKS AG and Barclays Private Equity intend to immediately start to plan their common strategy for the successful future development of the company. This may also include discussing the recruitment of new, qualified employees as part of the plans for global expansion.
More information on the takeover offer has been published online at www.computerlinks.de and on the website of the bidder at www.css-angebot.de.
About the bidder / About Barclays Private Equity:
The bidder is an acquisition company in which currently one, and in the future several, funds managed by Barclays Private Equity Limited have an indirect stake. The bidding company was acquired for the purpose of carrying out this transaction, and primarily serves to hold and manage the COMPUTERLINKS shares which are to be purchased.
Barclays Private Equity, founded in Great Britain in 1979, is one of the leading private equity firms for medium-sized companies in Europe. In recent years, its current total of eight offices worldwide have invested equity capital with a total volume of over EUR 10 billion in around 400 transactions. On average, it purchases 15-20 companies each year with EUR 500-700 million of equity capital. Barclays Private Equity has been active in Germany since 1998, and its 10-strong team in the Munich branch office has already successfully concluded a multitude of company transactions.
With branch offices in 11 European countries as well as in North America, Australia and the United Arab Emirates, COMPUTERLINKS is one of the leading distributors for top international manufacturers in the information technology sector. In its business activities, COMPUTERLINKS functions as a link between manufacturers and resellers, and facilitates the successful distribution of sophisticated IT solutions from the e-Security und e-Business segments. It puts a particular focus on evaluating and marketing the latest hardware and software products which stand out in terms of innovation and quality and have the greatest chances of surviving on an IT market which is marked by an increase in security-related demands.