FUNKE MEDIENGRUPPE acquires regional newspapers and parts of the magazine portfolio from Axel Springer / Establishment of joint ventures for the distribution and advertising marketing




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25.07.13

FUNKE MEDIENGRUPPE acquires regional newspapers and parts of the magazine portfolio from Axel Springer / Establishment of joint ventures for advertising marketing and distribution

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Joint Press Release of FUNKE MEDIENGRUPPE and Axel Springer AG

Today, on 25 July 2013, FUNKE MEDIENGRUPPE has reached an agreement with Axel Springer AG to acquire Axel Springer AG’s regional newspapers as well as its TV program guides and women’s magazines. In this regard, Axel Springer and FUNKE MEDIENGRUPPE have further agreed to establish joint ventures for the marketing (headed by Peter Würtenberger) and distribution of print and digital media and so to merge their activities, their resources and their know-how in these areas. In both joint venture companies, Axel Springer will have the entrepreneurial leadership and a majority interest. Today, Axel Springer and FUNKE MEDIENGRUPPE have entered into a respective binding preliminary agreement in this respect. The envisaged transaction is planned to be implemented with economic effect as of 1 January 2014. In the fiscal year 2012, the regional newspaper groups as well as the TV program guides and women’s magazines contributed EUR 94.8 million to the EBITDA of Axel Springer Group and EUR 512.4 million to its revenues. The purchase price amounts to EUR 920 million.

In the future, the regional newspapers BERLINER MORGENPOST and HAMBURGER ABENDBLATT, the advertising papers in Berlin and Hamburg as well as the five TV program guides and two women’s magazines of Axel Springer (HÖRZU, TV DIGITAL, FUNK UHR, BILDWOCHE, TV NEU, BILD der FRAU, FRAU von HEUTE) and the related digital brands will be published by FUNKE MEDIENGRUPPE and will complement its existing portfolio of regional newspapers, advertising papers and magazines.

Both media companies want to focus even more stringent on their respective strategic goals in the future. By following a stringent digitization strategy, Axel Springer aims at becoming the leading digital media group. In this regard, the company will focus even more on its multimedial journalistic core brands WELT- and BILD-groups with the related magazine brands (AUTO BILD-group, COMPUTER BILD-group, SPORT BILD). In addition, Axel Springer focuses on the expansion of online classifieds and digital marketing platforms.

By taking over the titles from Axel Springer, FUNKE MEDIENGRUPPE accelerates its process of becoming a leading national media group. It stands for journalistic quality and efficiency and will focus in the future even more on the expansion of its successful local media and magazines with their reader-based link between print and digital media.

Thomas Ziegler, Managing Director of FUNKE MEDIENGRUPPE: “We have to join forces – because the media market presents challenging tasks: Therefore, we are looking forward to work closely with Axel Springer AG in marketing and distribution within the framework of the joint ventures and we appreciate that selected print titles of Axel Springer will join our activities. New opportunities are emerging for our business: This applies to the print as well as to the online segment. Hereby, we gain an enormous potential for new developments, for example for the intelligent connection of both fields. Together with the colleagues which will join us, we will build a national media company. FUNKE MEDIENGRUPPE will stand for print media and online media, successful regional newspapers and successful magazines, journalistic quality and economic success.”

Mathias Döpfner, Chief Executive Officer Axel Springer AG: “The decision to divest some of our brands with the longest tradition in our company was not easy. However, we are sure that the grouping under the FUNKE MEDIENGRUPPE, which aims at focusing on regional print- and online-journalism and on magazines, provides the best long-term perspective for the brands and for the staff. The different strategies of both companies complement each other perfectly. Axel Springer AG will continue to follow the strategic direction to become the leading digital media group with a clear focus on the BILD- and WELT-groups, in which we will invest and further develop journalistically and which will remain the core business of Axel Springer in the very long term.”

The transaction is subject to approval under merger control and antitrust law by the competent authorities, which is not expected to be obtained before the end of 2013.

Press contacts:

Axel Springer AG
Tobias Fröhlich
Deputy Corporate Spokesperson
Phone: +49 30 25 91-7 76 20
tobias.froehlich@axelspringer.de

FUNKE MEDIENGRUPPE GmbH & Co. KGaA
Dr. Tobias Korenke
Project Coordinator
Phone: +49 201 804-68 86
presse@funkemedien.de