Swiss media group Ringier will acquire all Axel Springer shares in Hungary, Serbia, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, both companies said Wednesday. The joint venture between Ringier and Axel Springer will remain in place in Poland. Financial details were not disclosed.
The media groups first formed a joint venture in 2010 to focus on the Central and Eastern European markets where the publishers operate around 200 digital and print products. While the partnership has been a success, Axel Springer now wants to focus investment on its news media segment in major strategic markets that include Germany, the U.S. and Poland.
Ringier said the acquisition will aid its international growth and investment strategy. “The acquisition of the Axel Springer shares in Hungary, Serbia, Slovakia and the Baltic states is an important milestone in our business development,” said Marc Walder, CEO of Ringier. “This transaction is an acknowledgement of our long-term commitment to being a modern media investor in Eastern Europe.”
The acquisition of the shares is expected to be completed this year. Meanwhile the joint venture partners want to concentrate their efforts exclusively on the Polish market, their largest market in Eastern Europe. In Poland, Ringier Axel Springer’s classifieds portfolio includes recruitment site NoFluffJobs.pl and real estate site Morizon.pl, as well as horizontal Gratka.pl.