The latest in a burst of M&A deals in the European media sector this week: German newspaper and magazine publisher Axel Springer is buying fellow German publisher Gruner + Jahr’s Russian business. That consists of a string of Russian-language magazines such as Geo, and standalone websites including Moi-Roditeli.ru. Axel will publish the titles under licence from the parent G+J company. The price is not disclosed, and still needs the approval of the Russia antitrust authorities. Release (via Yakov).
Ralph Büchi, president of Axel Springer International, says the move is part of the company’s “strategy of internationalization and the development of digital media”. Axel already publishes the Russian print editions and websites of Forbes, Newsweek, OK and Computer Bild.
Dr Torsten-Joern Klein, head of G+J International, says: “We are still interested in those international markets where we already occupy leading positions, or those where we can achieve them.” But he says G+J could only could reach a leading position in Russia “through the commission of a huge number of additional acquisitions at high prices”, so it’s opted to sell the business.