Mediahuis completes acquisition of German Media Group Aachener Verlagsgesellschaft
European Media Group, Mediahuis has completed the 100% purchase of the German media group Aachener Verlagsgesellschaft (AVG). Mediahuis will also become the main shareholder (70%) of AVG’s subsidiary Medienhaus Aachen GmbH, which publishes the newspapers Aachener Zeitung and Aachener Nachrichten.
The acquisition of Aachener Verlagsgesellschaft aligns with Mediahuis’ growth ambitions and further evolves the group as a leading European media player. Recent years have seen the group develop interests in Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland and Luxembourg and the expansion into the German region of North Rhine-Westphalia is a logical next step. The German-Dutch border region (Euregio) is geographically aligned with the existing Mediahuis activities, while AVG’s strong brands offer attractive added value to the Mediahuis portfolio.
The entry of Mediahuis as the largest shareholder will enable Medienhaus Aachen to accelerate its digital transformation, further strengthen its independent regional journalism and successfully consolidating its position in the Aachen, Düren and Heinsberg region.
The further digital transition of the German media group will take place in cooperation with the current management of Medienhaus Aachen, building on the expertise and talent of its employees. Andreas Müller, who has been at the helm of Medienhaus Aachen since 2008, will continue to lead the management team as CEO.
Gert Ysebaert, CEO, Mediahuis group: “I am pleased that the acquisition of Aachener Verlagsgesellschaft has been successfully completed and that we can welcome our German colleagues to our group. Together with them and the management of Medienhaus Aachen, we will build a successful and sustainable future. Learning from each other and strengthening each other will be the driving force. Mediahuis believes unconditionally in the power of strong and independent journalism. The knowledge and expertise of both parties, combined with the synergies Mediahuis can offer as a group, will further strengthen the media brands of Medienhaus Aachen within the current digital context. I look forward to working with Andreas Müller and his team to embed this regional journalism in the North Rhine-Westphalia society in a sustainable way.”
Andreas Müller, CEO, Medienhaus Aachen: “The entry of Mediahuis heralds a new era for Medienhaus Aachen. In recent years, we have already taken our cue from various Mediahuis brands such as NRC in developing future strategies for journalism. Now we are happy to be the first German media house to join the Mediahuis family. The experience of the international Mediahuis network will help us to further develop our brands and ensure that we can continue to fulfil our responsibility to society, as laid down in the constitution, through our strong regional identity and journalistic independence. I am sure that the readers of our offerings will benefit from this.”
Medienhaus Aachen is active as a leading media group in the region of Aachen, Düren and Heinsberg (North Rhine-Westphalia). Besides publishing the newspapers Aachener Zeitung and Aachener Nachrichten, the Medienhaus Aachen portfolio also includes print, digital media, radio, logistics, fairs and postal services. The Medienhaus Aachen group employs 400 staff (excluding distribution) and has an annual turnover of €80 million.
Since its foundation in 2013, Mediahuis has built a highly diversified portfolio of news media and digital brands. In recent years, the group has made significant progress in the digital transformation of its news brands. Mediahuis is successfully implementing paywalls and digital subscription services on its news sites, driven by an optimal customer experience, combined with strong and independent journalism. Mediahuis’ national and regional news titles provide more than 10 million readers with news every day, both online and in print. The group has about 4,300 employees and an annual turnover of more than €1 billion.