Vienna Capital Partners in 10-newspaper buyup


Vienna Capital Partners (VCP) will buy broadsheet Népszabadság, business daily Világgazdaság, sports daily Nemzeti Sport and eight regional dailies from publishers Ringier and Axel Springer, the companies said on Thursday...

VCP said it aimed to build on the liberal Népszabadság’s venerable traditions, in print and digital form, with the cooperation of its minority owner, the Free Press Association. 

Ringier and Axel Springer are selling the publications to comply with competition requirements for the planned transfer of their holdings in Hungary into a joint venture called Ringier Axel Springer Hungary.

The portfolio of the joint venture will comprise mainly tabloid and women's magazines, i.e. “publications with a strong market position and very good prospects for digitization.” Among the publications is tabloid market Blikk.

The transaction is subject to the approval of the National Competition Authority (GVH) and the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH).

Germany-based media giant Axel Springer and Switzerland-based peer Ringier withdrew a request for approval from the GVH to consolidate their holdings in Hungary in the spring of 2011. The withdrawal was made because of a negative statement by the national Media Council, which is binding for the antitrust authority.

“The combination of activities in Hungary is still planned by both companies. They will decide in due time and after having thoroughly inquired into all options of action, if, and in what way a new request for a modified merger will be filed,” an Axel Springer statement at that time read in part.

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