Mediahuis national and regional news titles have a combined 10 million daily readers online and in print
MEDIAHUIS, the company that owns the Irish Independent, has completed the purchase of a German regional newspaper group based in the city of Aachen.
The latest acquisition by Belgian-headquartered Mediahuis sees it take control of the Aachener Verlagsgesellschaft (AVG), the publisher of the Aachener Zeitung daily and other titles in city of Aachen which is close to Germany’s borders with both Belgium and the Netherlands.
The German group will be 100pc owned by Mediahuis, which will also become the biggest shareholder (70pc) in AVG’s main operating subsidiary Medienhaus Aachen.
The Medienhaus Aachen group employs 400 staff and has an annual turnover of €80m.
The two parties first announced they were in discussions last September.
Mediahuis said that the acquisition fitted its growth ambitions as is seeks to evolve further as a leading European media player.
“Mediahuis believes unconditionally in the power of strong and independent journalism. The knowledge and expertise of both parties, combined with the synergies Mediahuis can offer as a group, will further strengthen the media brands of Medienhaus Aachen within the current digital context,” said Mediahuis CEO Gert Ysebaert.
“I am pleased that the acquisition of Aachener Verlagsgesellschaft has been successfully completed and that we can welcome our German colleagues to our group.”
Mediahuis said the acquisition would enable the Aachen-based newsaper group to “accelerate its digital transformation project, further strengthen its independent regional journalism and successfully consolidate its position in the Aachen, Düren and Heinsberg region”.
Andreas Müller, who has been the head of Medienhaus Aachen since 2008, will continue to lead the management team as chief executive.
Since its foundation in 2013, Mediahuis has become a leading media group in Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland and Luxembourg through a series of acquisitions.
In 2019, the group bought Independent News and Media for €146m in its first large-scale move outside its traditional home markets.
The deal to buy Aachener Verlagsgesellschaft is Mediahuis’ first foray into the German media market.
Mediahuis’ national and regional news titles have a combined 10 million daily readers online and in print.