"Ringier Media Switzerland": Ringier acquires Axel Springer Switzerland

Ringier has bought all shares in Ringier Axel Springer Schweiz (RASCH) from Axel Springer, while retaining the site in Zurich. CEO of the new construct "Ringier Medien Schweiz" will be Ladina Heimgartner, previously CEO of the Blick Group.

Ringier is further expanding its activities in Switzerland by acquiring Axel Springer's stake in the Swiss joint venture Ringier Axel Springer Schweiz (RASCH). If the Weko approves the purchase, it would be completed before the end of 2023.

Ringier will thus become the sole owner of the portfolio with a total of 20 of the widest-reach magazine and journal titles in Switzerland, including Observer, Handelszeitung, Balance, cash.ch, Tele, Swiss Illustrated, Landliebe, Lucky mail, L'illustré, PME and others. The parties have agreed not to disclose the selling price.

Ringier Medien Schweiz" will employ around 1,000 people, Ringier CEO Marc Walder told the media on Wednesday. CEO of the new construct will be Ladina Heimgartner, previously CEO of the Blick Group.

According to Walder, Ringier Medien Schweiz reaches 4.6 million readers. RASCH's brands are to be strengthened digitally. However, not on their own websites, but through increased presence on Blick.ch, where they reach a significantly larger audience. Individual articles already appear there from titles such as the Handelszeitung or the Swiss Illustrated.

RASCH's current location in Zurich-Altstetten will be retained, and no jobs are to be cut in the editorial offices. However, no expansion is planned. There are to be "synergies" at the publishing level, Walder said. How many jobs could be cut is currently still open.

Springer focuses on digital

Axel Springer held 35 percent of the shares in RASCH. Ringier executives did not want to comment on the purchase price. Heimgartner and Walder emphasized to the media that Ringier still believed in magazines. Axel Springer, on the other hand, is clearly focusing on digital. In a media release, Springer CEO Matthias Döpfner is quoted as saying that almost 90 percent of revenues are generated in the digital sector.

The CEO of RASCH, Alexander Theobald, will remain with Ringier. He will take over the management of two major real estate projects: The site planning of the printing plant in Zofingen and the renovation of Ringier's headquarters in Zurich.

Walder will head the Ringier Media International division. Ringier is primarily active in Eastern Europe. (sda)

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