EUROPEAN media giant Ringier Axel Springer Media AG has purchased a majority stake in the most visited web portal in Slovakia, buying 70 percent of Azet.sk via its Slovak publishing subsidiary in mid December. The price of the transaction was not disclosed, the SITA newswire wrote.
The director of Axel Springer Media AG, Florian Fels, wrote in a press release that this acquisition gives the company a leading position in the Slovak online market, which is expected to grow by 25 percent in coming years. The penetration of Azet.sk is currently more than 75 percent of the population, representing about 1.9 million real users.
“The portal with a wide content focus excellently fits with our strong media brands and suitably expands the existing portfolio in Slovakia,” said Fels. He said he was glad that the management team of Azet.sk would support Ringier Axel Springer in central and eastern Europe in innovations and digitalisation.
The founder and director of Azet.sk, Milan Dubec, said a common aim of both partners is to continue the expansion of Azet.sk’s online business and build market share.
Ringier Axel Springer Media AG was established in 2010 by the merger of Swiss Ringier and German Axel Springer. It publishes the most popular daily newspaper in Slovakia, Nový Čas, the weekly Život, monthlies Eva and Geo, and runs web portals Čas.sk, Lesk.sk and Adam.sk, among others.
Ringier Axel Springer AG also acquired a share in CPress Media, with the Zive.sk and Bazar.sk sites.
Azet.sk is a popular internet portal in Slovakia, operating a kind of Slovak Facebook, Pokec.sk, and a news portal, Aktualne.sk. It employs about 160 people.
Azet.sk began looking for a new majority owner or investor in spring 2010, with one shareholder saying they would not like to sell for less than €30 million.
10. Jan 2011 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff