Germany’s Axel Springer has approved the arrangements whereby KKR private equity will acquire the company’s outstanding shares and operate in a joint venture with majority owner Friede Springer and CEO Mathias Doepfner. The €7bn buy-out is likely to become effective by September this year.
Axel Springer operates in more than 40 countries with major media brands including Bild, Welt, Business Insider, Politico Europe and StepStone classifieds. Having arguably become the most successful newspaper group to make the transformation to digital, Springer now seeks to become a global market leader in digital content and classifieds.
It implies some big acquisitions, perhaps including Adevinta. The Oslo-based company was spun-out of Schibsted earlier this year and operates digital classifieds in 16 countries including Leboncoin in France, InfoJobs in Spain, Subito in Italy, Jofogás in Hungary, and Segundamano in Mexico. It has a current market cap of €6.8bn.
Axel Springer employs more than 16,000 people worldwide and generates 70% of its revenue and 84% of profit from digital.