German Publisher Springer to Expand at Home, Abroad

May 1, 2004
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May 1-15, 2004 Edition

German Publisher

Springer to Expand

at Home, Abroad

BERLIN, GERMANY/04/24/04—Axel Springer AG, which publishes Germany’s best-selling newspaper Bild, has launched an aggressive expansion move withy the debut of a Russian edition of Forbes magazine and its bid to acquire Britain’s Daily Telegraph.

Springer unveiled its new Forbes Russia on Thursday. The magazine, with an initial circulation of 40,000, is the Russian language edition of America’s number two financial magazine, Forbes.

In addition, Springer is negotiating for the possible acquisition of London’s Daily Telegraph, and reportedly is prepared to offer €1.05 billion ($1.26 billion) for the publication.

The Daily Telegraph , with a circulation of 900,000, is owned by U.S. publisher Hollinger International which is, itself, up for sale. Hollinger owns several other publications, including the Chicago Sun-Times, but Spring has indicated its only interest is in the Daily Telegraph and possibly the Sunday Telegraph, a sister publication.

Springer has been aggressive on its own homefront as well, where it earns 86 percent of its total revenue. Last week, Springer expanded into the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany with its acquisition of a 14.5 percent stake in the publisher of the Westfalen-Blatt, a regional daily. The deal must first be approved by Germany’s Federal Cartel Office.

The company has bounced back from a major slump three years ago to enjoy 2002 profits of €61 million. Profits in 2003 increased to €130 million.

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