Writing on Horizont, freelance media journalist Ulrike Simon cited as her source a document that shows that DuMont has engaged Goetzpartners Corporate Finance GmbH in Munich to act as a broker for the sale.
Nationally known media columnist Kai-Hinrich Renner, writing in the Berliner Morgenpost, said the document was a prospectus (brochure) that Goetzpartners had created under contract for DuMont. He wrote that the prospectus has been circulating among various publishing companies for some time. No price is mentioned; prospective buyers are requested to make non-binding offers for the holdings.
The Horizont report said interested parties are asked to make offers for individual newspaper titles as well, indicating that DuMont might be willing to divest single newspapers, such as the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger (in Cologne), for example, which would be the most likely to attract interest from potential purchasers.
The official statement from DuMont reads as follows: “At the end of 2018, DuMont completed in timely fashion its reorganization into a media group with three business segments. We are using this occasion to develop the future strategy of the group portfolio and thus to ensure the future-proof constitution of the company.
“Against this background, various options for action are currently being developed. Among other things, this includes the possible sale of parts of the portfolio of the media group. Such a review of the strategy normally takes place regularly in every company, including DuMont. Currently, there are neither concrete results nor decisions on them.
“Please understand that we currently do not provide any further information about our strategic direction.”
Sale would leave only two business areas
Following a sale, according to the Horizont report, DuMont would have only two business areas remaining in its possession:
- Marketing Technology, which includes shareholdings in Facelift, Upljft and Censhare.
- Business Information, including the Bundesanzeiger (the German government’s official organ for legal matters) and two related operations; and the Deutscher Auftragsdienst (a platform for public and private orders and tenders), which it acquired in 2018.
DuMont’s current newspaper holdings are as follows:
- Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger
- Kölnische Rundschau
- The Express titles in Cologne and Düsseldorf
- Berliner Kurier
- Berliner Zeitung
- Hamburger Morgenpost
- Mitteldeutsche Zeitung in Halle, in eastern Germany
Its holdings via regional subsidiaries also include numerous advertising freesheets, news websites, radio and television stations, magazines, web portals and blogs, an events agency, a ticket service, a logistics company, and an advertising agency.