Today’s top stories: web hosting company Host Europe has changed hands for £222m; Ritter Sport has invested in customisable chocolate etailer Chocri; Alex Springer faces a takeover tussle for SeLoger; and Xing unveiled a raft of new features at dmexco in Cologne.
Montagu buys Host Europe for £222m
UK private equity firm Oakley Capital has disposed of its German web hosting business Host Europe to Montagu Private Equity for £222m. It was the first exit from the debut fund of Oakley, the listed private equity house set up in 2007. Oakley’s shares closed 9.5p up at 123 .5p on the news.
Ritter Sport backs Chocri
The chocolate giant Ritter Sport has bought a third of the shares of online chocolate retailer Chocri. It is the first time the two-year-old design-your-own chocolate startup has taken investor money to finance further growth. Ritter Sport produces some 2.5 million chocolate bars daily. Chocri’s output recently increased by 1,000 pieces units per day.
Takeover battle for SeLoger
The French real estate marketplace SeLoger is a takeover target for Axel Springer AG but the acquisition is going to be trickier than expected. Just a few days after the media group submitted its offer, the Australian investment fund Caledonia Investment, which specialises in Internet businesses, marked its interest with the acquisition of 10 per cent of the shares. Springer has earmarked a €566 million warchest to buy the French company but may have a battle on its hands.
Xing launches revamped site
Germany’s largest business network Xing unveiled a completely overhauled platform at the dmexco conference in Cologne. Xing CEO Stefan Gross-Selbeck showed off a newly designed homepage, improved user interface, a „mobile handshake“ and a to-do list to bring together in a concise form all messages, contact requests, invitations and newsletters. The new features are available to both basic and premium members.