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German space firm OHB plans to delist as KKR takes minority stake

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German space firm OHB plans to delist as KKR takes minority stake

By Alexander Hübner

BERLIN (Reuters) -Germany’s OHB on Monday said U.S. financial investor KKR was buying a minority stake in the space company and it planned to delist from the stock market.

KKR is planning a voluntary public tender offer for all outstanding shares at a price of 44 euros ($48.34), according to OHB. That offer values the company at 768 million euros. Its shares closed at 32.2 euros on Friday and rose to 43 euros in opening trade on Monday.

The Fuchs family, which holds just under 70% of OHB, will keep its shares and remain majority shareholders, with Marco Fuchs staying on as chief executive for a further five years.

In total, KKR is putting up to 338 million euros into OHB with the takeover bid, a capital increase of 10% and a capital injection for the OHB space subsidiary Rocket Factory.

“We are delighted that with KKR as a minority investor, we have found the ideal partner to support our long-term growth and vision,” said Fuchs.

OHB said its executive and supervisory boards supported the offer and intended to recommend that shareholders accept it.

The Bremen-based company aims to become the leading space provider for governments and commercial customers in Europe.

Last year, OHB generated more than a billion euros in sales with 3,000 employees.

“The global market for space solutions will continue to grow. We see great potential in Europe,” said Christian Ollig, partner and head of the German-speaking region at KKR.

OHB posted a first half pre-tax profit of 19.6 million euros and said its order backlog remained at a high level of 1.8 billion euros.

($1 = 0.9102 euros)

(Reporting by Alexander Huebner and Rachel MoreEditing by Miranda Murray, Kirsten Donovan)