Hamburg, 29 November 2004 – Both publishers strengthen and enhance national and international market positions / Motor-Presse Stuttgart with market-leading position in German "car" and "men´s" magazine segments
Gruner + Jahr is acquiring the Würzburg-based Vogel media group´s shares (45.7 percent) in Vereinigte Motor-Verlage (VMV), Stuttgart, effective January 1, 2005. G+J currentlyowns 17.1 percent of VMV.
At the same time, the VMV will be merged under company law withMotor-Presse Verlag (MPV), into a company to be known as Motor-Presse Stuttgart (MPS). Thus, G+J will be the majority owner ofthe future Motor-Presse Stuttgart (MPS), with 54.9 percent of shares.The Pietsch group will increase its stake in Motor-PresseStuttgart (MPS), which already does business as a single company,to 25.1 percent, while the Dietrich-Troeltsch groups will togetherown 20 percent. The contracts will be signed this week.
The acquisition of shares from the Vogel media group and all otherchanges to the ownership structures are subject to antitrust approval.In any case, the Motor-Presse Stuttgart will continue to be managedas a separate company at its Stuttgart headquarters. Dr. FriedrichWehrle will remain in place as the company´s CEO.
Both publishers´ magazines are characterized by quality journalismand journalistic independence. In Germany, the magazines publishedby Motor-Presse Stuttgart - e.g. "auto motor and sport", "Motorrad","Men´s Health" and "connect" - round out the G+J portfolio by addingcar and men´s magazines, fields in which G+J is not yet active.Motor-Presse Stuttgart leads the market in car, motorcycle,telecommunications and sports/recreation magazines. The twopublishers have already collaborated successfully for several yearsin the area of magazine distribution.
By taking over the majority of Motor-Presse Stuttgart, G+Jstrengthens its position in the German ads and distribution marketand improves its market opportunities in a number of countries.For instance, by joining with Motor-Presse International (MPI),G+J takes the market leadership in Spain and moves up a slot ortwo in the ranking of major publishers (by total revenue) in bothFrance and Poland.
Subsidiaries and joint ventures in international markets in whichGruner + Jahr does not have a publishing presence of its own todate - e.g. Switzerland, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Slovakia,Ukraine, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico - open up a wealth of newopportunities for internationalization and expansion forGruner + Jahr and Motor-Presse Stuttgart. The move also strengthenstheir joint market position in Chinese market, where both publishersalready have operations.
Gruner + Jahr CEO Dr. Bernd Kundrun said: "Taking over the majorityof Motor-Presse Stuttgart allows us to take a big step forward onour planned growth path. It crucially enhances our market positionsin many of G+J´s major markets and opens up new markets and segments.We´re also an excellent match: both publishers stand for qualityjournalism and journalistic independence. We have very similarpublishing and entrepreneurial cultures."
Publisher Dr. Kurt Eckernkamp, chairman of the supervisory board anda shareholder in the Vogel media group, said: "The shareholders andthe management have long since agreed that the ownership structureshould be simplified. Now, the unified market presence that Motor-Presse Stuttgart has developed over the past few years is finallyreflected in a unified company that will continue to be under itsown management."
Dr. Bernd Kundrun thanked Rolf Wickmann, G+J´s general agent andChairman of Vereinigte Motor-Verlage (VMV) advisory board andshareholders´ meeting, for handling the "time-consuming, demandingand complex negotiations, which have now culminated in this successful step."
The Motor-Presse GmbH was founded in Freiburg in 1946 by Paul Pietsch,Ernst Troeltsch und Josef Hummel. In 1951, in a merger with the Vogelpublishing company, the Stuttgart-based Vereinigte Motor-Verlagepublishing group was born. It has since grown into a distinguishedinternational publisher of special-interest magazines. Today, it isEurope´s biggest publisher of special-interest magazines. The grouppublishes more than 135 magazines worldwide, in mobility, consumerelectronics, telecommunications, lifestyle, sports and recreation.Motor-Presse Stuttgart is the German market leader in car andmotorcycle magazines. Its approx. 1,700 employees worldwide(approx. 770 in Germany and 930 outside Germany) generated annualrevenue of €350 million in 2004. The rapidly growing internationaldepartment accounted for nearly 150 million, or 43 percent, of thetotal revenue. The group currently publishes 90 magazine titlesin 14 countries.
Although the company also offers TV and online productions in additionto conventional print media, target-group and themed special-interestmagazines remain its core business in Germany and beyond.
For further information:
Head of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs
Gruner + Jahr AG & Co KG
Am Baumwall 11