Anglo-American group buys Berlin newspapers

25th October 2005, Comments 0 comments

25 October 2005, BERLIN - An Anglo-American investor group will take control of two Berlin newspapers and the German capital's leading city events magazine - despite angry protests by staff at all three publications, the investment group announced Tuesday.

25 October 2005

BERLIN - An Anglo-American investor group will take control of two Berlin newspapers and the German capital's leading city events magazine - despite angry protests by staff at all three publications, the investment group announced Tuesday.

The VSS investor group from the U.S. and Britain's Mecom Group will buy the Berliner Verlag which owns the left-leaning "Berlin Zeitung" daily, the tabloid "Berliner Kurier" and the city news magazine "tip", Mecom said.

Mecom did not reveal the value of the deal which London's Independent newspaper put at 100 million pounds (178 million dollars).

There have been furious protests by editors and staff at the three publications over fears of job cuts and allegations the new owners will influence the political direction of reporting.

Mecom chief David Montgomery, who will head the Berliner Verlag's supervisory board, moved to ease fears of a major shake-up.

"We have great respect for the German newspaper industry and we know that the Berliner Verlag is a solid concern. We will be the proud guardian of Berliner Verlag's publications and will uphold the highest standards of journalistic quality, publishing integrity and good management," Montgomery said in a statement.

Montgomery said he expected Germany's federal office for mergers and monopolies would give the final green light for the buyout within four weeks.

The anti-trust office forced Berliner Verlag's current owner, publishing company Georg von Holtzbrinck, to sell the newspapers because they already own another Berlin newspaper, Der Tagesspiegel.

DPA

Subject: German news

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