The purchase price was reported as 920 million euros and the transaction is planned to take effect as of 1 January 2014, the companies said in a joint statement announcing the deal. (German-language coverage of the transaction can be found on Spiegel Online.)
In addition to the newspapers – Berliner Morgenpost and Hamburger Abendblatt – Funke Mediengruppe is acquiring advertising papers in Berlin and Hamburg, five TV programme guides and two women’s magazines.
Furthermore, the two companies said they will create joint ventures for the marketing and distribution of print and digital media, merging their activities, resources and know-how in these areas. According to the statement, Axel Springer will have the entrepreneurial leadership and a majority interest in the joint companies.
“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,” said Mathias Döpfner, Chief Executive Officer of Axel Springer, in the announcement. “The strategies of both companies complement one another perfectly.
“Axel Springer AG will continue to follow its 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.”