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02.09.09

Axel Springer acquires majority interest in leading international job portal StepStone

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Dr. Mathias Döpfner: "Important step for digital growth" / Public takeover offer to all shareholders

Axel Springer AG has secured a majority interest in StepStone ASA, Oslo, by acquisition of approx. 19.3 percent of the shares and holds currently 52.27 percent of the company's equity. Furthermore, Axel Springer will extend a public takeover offer to all shareholders for a price of NOK 8.60 (approx. EUR 0.99) per share.

Dr. Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Axel Springer AG: "As announced, we have used our financial headroom to make investments with a clear focus on the further expansion of our digital business. The acquisition of a majority interest in StepStone is an important step toward the goal of increasing the internationalization and digitization of Axel Springer. The European online job portal market offers excellent prospects for dynamic growth. We are delighted to continue and support StepStone's successful development, in the interest of all shareholders and in cooperation with the management and employees of StepStone. Together, we will focus on further extending StepStone's leading position."

By means of this acquisition, Axel Springer AG continues to pursue its strategic goals of increased internationalization and digitization. Since December 2008 Axel Springer held an equity interest of then around 33 percent in StepStone ASA, after having purchased a 49.9 percent interest in StepStone Deutschland AG, a subsidiary of StepStone ASA, in 2004.

J.P. Morgan plc and its affiliates are acting as financial advisor and broker in connection with this transaction.

StepStone is an international provider of e-recruiting solutions engaging in the business areas „Online“ (jobmarkets) and „Solutions“ (talent-management-software). One substantial asset of StepStone ASA is its participation of 50.1 percent in StepStone Deutschland AG, in which Axel Springer AG already holds a share interest of 49.9 percent.By increasing its investment in StepStone ASA, Axel Springer will be in a position to further extend its strong position in the promising market of online job portals, also on the European level.

StepStone ASA generated total revenues of EUR 123.5 million, EBITDA of EUR 15.7 million in fiscal year 2008. In the first half of 2009 revenues and EBITDA were EUR 51.5 million and EUR 4.6 million.

About Axel Springer:
Axel Springer is Germany's biggest newspaper publisher and third-biggest magazine publisher, as well as one of Europe's' leading media enterprises. Its wide-ranging media portfolio includes successfully established multimedia brand families such as the BILD Group and the WELT Group. Axel Springer operates in a total of 35 countries with more than 170 newspapers and magazines, more than 60 online offerings for a diverse range of interest groups and information needs, as well as investments in TV and radio stations. With more than 10,000 employees, Axel Springer generated total revenues of EUR 2,728.5 million, EBITDA of EUR 486.2 million and net income of EUR 571.1 million in fiscal year 2008, that being the highest yearly profit in the company's history.

This press release can be viewed at www.axelspringer.com .

Press contact: Christian Garrels
Tel: +49 30 2591 77651
Investor contact: Claudia Thomé
Tel: +49 30 2591 77421