German software firm SUSE to be taken private by EQT for 16 euros per share

(Reuters) – Frankfurt-listed software solutions provider SUSE said on Thursday it would be taken private by its majority shareholder EQT AB for an offer price of 16 euros ($17.37) per share. The offer price is a significant markdown from the 30 euros for which the company’s shares were sold in its IPO in May 2021. The bidding price, offered via EQT holding company Marcel, is at a premium of 66.58% to SUSE’s last close and values the firm at 2.72 billion euros.

EQT plans to finance the deal through the interim dividend it receives on its shareholding at SUSE. SUSE, in turn, would fund its dividend payout from cash at hand and loans taken by SUSE group entities.

EQT owns approximately 79% of shares in SUSE, which will be “in a stronger position to focus on its long-term strategy as a private company without the short-term pressures of the capital market,” said EQT partner Johannes Reichel.

The tech firm recently completed a management revamp in which Dirk-Peter van Leeuwen was appointed chief executive in May.

Announcing the deal, EQT’s holding company, Marcel, said in a statement its decision followed execution challenges and several changes in the past 12 months. It said this was further compounded by the low liquidity of the company’s stock, which impacted SUSE’s operating performance and market valuation.

SUSE, whose headquarters are now in Luxembourg, is an enterprise software company whose open-source software helps run applications on cloud servers, mainframe computers and devices at the edges of networks.

($1 = 0.9212 euro)

(Reporting by Kanjyik Ghosh in Bengaluru and Emma-Victoria Farr in London; Editing by Diane Craft and Matthew Lewis)