The Aachener Verlagsgesellschaft (AVG), founder and owner of the Aachener Zeitung, and the European group Mediahuis are conducting far-reaching negotiations about a possible takeover of AVG by Mediahuis. This was confirmed by the two media companies in a joint statement.
In the event of a successful completion of the talks, Mediahuis will become the main shareholder (70%) of AVG´s main operating subsidiary Medienhaus Aachen, publisher of Aachener Zeitung and Aachener Nachrichten. Talks between Mediahuis and AVG are progressing in a constructive and trustful atmosphere and both parties expect to conclude the negotiations soon.
The possible takeover of AVG fits in with Mediahuis’ European growth plans and would enable the group to expand its geographical footprint into the German-Dutch border region (Euregio).
Andreas Müller, CEO Aachener Verlagsgesellschaft: “For many decades, the newspapers in the European city of Aachen have maintained a close exchange with the Mediahuis-owned newspapers in neighbouring Dutch Limburg and Belgian Limburg. Mediahuis and AVG share the conviction that strong and independent journalism is crucial for sustaining democracy. We both see potential in regional media markets and the need for effective strategies. So it feels quite natural to shape a sustainable future together.”
Gert Ysebaert, CEO Mediahuis group: “Our growth ambition is clear: we want to evolve further as a leading European media player. After the development of our group in Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland and since last year, Luxembourg, the expansion of our activities into the German region of North Rhine-Westphalia is a logical next step. Not only does the area fit in geographically with our existing activities, but in Aachener Verlagsgesellschaft we have also found a strong potential partner with strong brands and people who can offer great added value to our portfolio and organisation. I am looking forward to welcoming the people of Medienhaus Aachen to our group and to working with them on a sustainable future.”
The German Aachener Verlagsgesellschaft is the main shareholder (70%) of Medienhaus Aachen, which is active as a leading media group in the region of Aachen, Düren and Heinsberg (North Rhine-Westphalia). Besides publishing the newspapers Aachener Zeitung and Aachener Nachrichten, the Medienhaus Aachen portfolio also includes print, digital media, radio, printing, logistics, fairs and postal services. The Medienhaus Aachen group employs 400 staff (excluding distribution) and has an annual turnover of €80 million.
Mediahuis is one of the leading media groups in Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland and Luxembourg. Since its foundation in 2013, Mediahuis has built a highly diversified portfolio of news media and digital brands. In recent years, the group has made significant progress in the digital transformation of its news brands. Mediahuis is successfully implementing paywalls and digital subscription services on its news sites, driven by an optimal customer experience, combined with strong and independent journalism. Mediahuis’ national and regional news titles provide more than 10 million readers with news every day, both online and in print. The group has 4,500 employees and an annual turnover of more than €1 billion.
AVG and Mediahuis will communicate on the outcome of the negotiations as soon as possible.
Mediahuis is one of the leading media groups in Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland and Luxembourg. As a publisher, Mediahuis unconditionally believes in independent journalism and strong, relevant media that make a positive contribution to people and society. With this vision in mind, Mediahuis permanently invests in its strong brands, both paper and digital. News titles including De Standaard, Het Nieuwsblad/De Gentenaar, Gazet van Antwerpen and Het Belang van Limburg in Belgium, NRC, De Telegraaf, Noordhollands Dagblad, De Limburger and Dagblad van het Noorden in the Netherlands, Irish Independent, Sunday Independent and Belfast Telegraph in Ireland and Luxemburger Wort in Luxembourg, provide millions of readers with daily news, both online and in print. In addition to these news brands, Mediahuis also operates a number of important digital marketplaces in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Ireland, mainly in the real estate, employment and automotive markets. More information about Mediahuis: www.mediahuis.com/en.
About Aachener Verlagsgesellschaft
Aachener Verlagsgesellschaft mbh (AVG) is the main shareholder of Medienhaus Aachen GmbH, which is a leading media group in the Aachen, Düren and Heinsberg region. AVG is wholly owned by the founding families of the former Aachener Volkszeitung, now Aachener Zeitung, Ernst, Hofmann and Maas. The shares of the Aachener Verlagsgesellschaft in Medienhaus Aachen GmbH amount to 70%; the remaining 30% are held by Aachener Nachrichten Verlagsgesellschaft GmbH & Co.KG (ANV), which has belonged to the Rheinische Post Mediengruppe since 1996.
As a leading media and service provider in the region, Medienhaus Aachen GmbH today combines high-quality journalism with innovative concepts on a daily basis. Companies from the business fields of print, digital media, radio, print, logistics, events, trade fairs and postal services come under the umbrella of Medienhaus Aachen. The two daily newspapers “Aachener Zeitung” and “Aachener Nachrichten” are its core products. Every day, the regional subscription newspapers reach around 300.000 readers in print and 1 mio. unique users per month online in the Aachen city region and in the districts of Düren and Heinsberg. The publishing portfolio of the media house also includes regional freesheets (“Aachener Zeitung am Sonntag”) and service magazines (“Klenkes”, “PurRegio”, “GastroGuide Euregio”, “FreitzeitGuide Euregio”) as well as numerous online services and minority interests in other media companies.