German publisher Springer sizingup Daily Telegraph purchase
16 April 2004
FRANKFURT – German newspaper publisher Axel Springer wants to go it alone in buying the British Daily Telegraph and is prepared to offer between GBP 600 and 700 million (EUR 900 million) for the newspaper, it was reported Friday.
The German business daily Handelsblatt, quoting sources close to Springer, said the publisher now sees a joint bid for the Telegraph with US media magnate Haim Saban as unlikely.
According to Handelsblatt, Springer chairman Mathias Doepfner was in London Wednesday with fellow directors and members of the supervisory board to discuss the purchase with Telegraph management.
However there was no official confirmation from Springer whose spokeswoman, Edda Fels, said that as a matter of course the company did not comment on market speculation.
Handelsblatt said Springer is interested solely in the Telegraph and its sister Sunday publication, the Sunday Telegraph, and not other newspapers belonging to Hollinger International, which is up for sale, the report said.
Springer could therefore consider selling other titles in the Hollinger group such as the Jerusalem Post to Saban, Handelsblatt said.
The Telegraph has a daily circulation of 900,000, putting it ahead of rival British broadsheets including The Times and The Guardian. The Telegraph group’s market share is around 7 percent.
The newspaper is a traditional supporter of the Conservative Party, backs US President George Bush’s policies and has been hostile to the euro and the European Union.
However, Springer sees it as a perfect addition to its media group which includes the mass circulation Bild and the conservative daily Die Welt, a source told Handelsblatt.
It quoted a Springer adviser as saying: “If Springer wants to build up a quality segment of daily newspapers in Europe it will also be seen by the shareholders as sensible.”
Subject: German news