* Axel Springer owns 90.03 pct of StepStone shares
* Passing of 90 pct means StepStone could be delisted
OSLO, Nov 5 (Reuters) - German media giant Axel Springer AG (SPRGn.DE) has increased its stake in Norwegian online recruitment firm StepStone STP.OL to 90.03 percent, crossing the threshold for a possible delisting. Axel Springer agreed with StepStone on Oct. 5 to increase a bid for all shares in StepStone to 9 crowns per share from an earlier 8.60 crowns, valuing all of StepStones at around $200 million.
Since then, Axel Springer’s holdings have steadily increased until passing the 90 percent level on Thursday, which means Axel Springer can ask Oslo bourse for a delisting of StepsStone.
Following the recent acquisitions, Axel Springer will hold 116.07 million shares in StepStone, or 90.03 percent of total votes and shares, Axel Springer said.
“In addition, Axel Springer holds a right to receive 725,757 new shares in StepStone to be issued on 31 December 2009,” Axel Springer AG said in a statement.
StepStone was originally listed in London and Oslo in 2000, but was a victim of the dotcom crash and dropped its London listing in 2001. A year ago, it was readmitted for a secondary listing on the London Stock Exchange STP.L. (Reporting by Richard Solem, editing by Will Waterman)