Ringier is also taking over Axel Springer's shares in Slovakia. However, the founder of the company there will retain a minority stake, Ringier announced on Wednesday. In the future, the joint venture partners will only do business together in Poland.
Springer is reportedly focusing on large strategic core markets in the future, with investment priorities in Germany, the USA and Poland. The acquisitions are still subject to the approval of the local antitrust authorities. They are expected to be completed in the course of the year. The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price.
With the acquisition of Axel Springer's shares in the joint venture in the countries concerned, Ringier is pushing ahead with its international growth and investment strategy in the area of digital marketplaces and media brands. The investment also strengthens Ringier's existing activities in Romania and Bulgaria, it said.
Digital sports media
The transaction is a commitment to a long-term commitment as a modern media investor in Eastern Europe, Ringier CEO Mark Walder is quoted as saying in the statement. Serbia, Slovakia and Hungary offer a good basis for the expansion of the digital sports media strategy.
Ringer and Axel Springer had established a business cooperation in July 2010. Axel Springer contributed its subsidiaries in Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary. Ringier contributed its business in Serbia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary. The joint venture developed into one of the largest media companies in Central and Eastern Europe with around 3100 employees. It comprised more than 200 digital and print products. (SDA)