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Ringier and Axel Springer join operations in five East European countries. Ringier Romania is to be included after recovery

de Alina Neagu, transl/adapt. C.B.
Miercuri, 24 martie 2010, 12:13 English | Business

Ringier and Axel Springer are joining their operations in five East European states by creating a new company with its main headquarters in Zürich. Each party will own 50% of the shares. The transactions have already been forwarded to be approved by the competition sector authorities. After concluding the recovery process initiated in the beginning of this year, Ringier Romania is to be included in the joint-venture, a communiqué sent to informs.

Ringier Romania sold Evenimentul Zilei and Capital to Romanian businessman Bobby Paunescu in February this year. A significant number of employees have been sacked and this move was presented as a means to make the Ringier portfolio more efficient. It was also around this time when Diva magazine was first published, as part of the Ringier group, but it was cancelled due to "the lack of economic perspectives for this title". Nevertheless, Ringier kept the Libertatea newspaper.

The newly established company, namely "Editura Evenimentul si Capital", with Bobby Paunescu as major shareholder, took over Evenimentul Zilei and Capital. It continues to take advantage of the Ringier Romania publishing structure, which provides distributions, printing, advert sales, human resources and IT services.

Axel Springer owns a minor package in Edipresse A.S. Romania, which edits, among others, the Avantaje, Elle and Viva magazines.

Axel Springer will take part in this joint-venture with its subsidiaries in Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary, while Ringier will contribute with its business in Serbia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary. Rngier Romania is to be included later.

With a business figure of around 414 million euros in 2009, a profit of 62 million euros and 4,800 employees, the newly set-up company will join the East Europe top players. The aim is the joint listing with the stock exchange in three to five years' time.

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