FUNKE MEDIENGRUPPE and SIGNA Holding establish partnership for stake in “Krone” and “Kurier” newspapers

FUNKE MEDIENGRUPPE and SIGNA Holding agreed on a partnership: SIGNA will take over a 49% stake in WAZ Ausland Holding GmbH from FUNKE MEDIENGRUPPE, which in turn holds shares in the  “Kronen Zeitung” and “Kurier” newspapers. For the first time, SIGNA is therefore investing not only in real estate and retailing, but also in the media sector.

The collaboration will start after approval by the competent antitrust authorities. Both parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price.

FUNKE has been operating on the Austrian media market since 1987. Via WAZ Ausland Holding GmbH, the media group holds a 50% stake in “Kronen Zeitung” and almost 50% in “Kurier.” The Dichand family holds the remaining shares in “Krone,” while Raiffeisen Group is the co-shareholder in Kurier.

Michael Wüller, General Manager of FUNKE MEDIENGRUPPE: “We are very happy to have found a strong partner in SIGNA for our publishing activities in Austria. With new strength and dynamism, we will jointly lead the strong brands into the future, above all through consistent digitization.”

SIGNA is using this partnership to take the next strategically important step on its way to becoming one of Europe’s leading multichannel providers.

René Benko, founder of SIGNA Holding GmbH: “Digitization dissolves the boundaries between traditional business models. Retailing, information, and entertainment, but also home & lifestyle and the modern world of working – these areas are no longer separated today. We are therefore strategically investing in business models that captivate broad consumer groups with extraordinary products and services and holistically map their future needs in the analog and digital world. The transformation of strong brands plays a key role in this respect.”

SIGNA is therefore strategically involved wherever broad consumer groups expect perfect connectivity of offline and online offerings in the future and familiar brand worlds merge with digital offerings: in the home & lifestyle sector through the development of high-quality living concepts, in business through the development of state-of-the-art office buildings and working environments, in shopping through the revitalization of the inner-city department store culture to inner-city marketplaces, and in information and entertainment through the future potential of strongly positioned media brands.

René Benko: “In particular, we will successfully contribute our strong know-how in digitizing traditional business models to the partnership. I am looking forward to working with FUNKE MEDIENGRUPPE, the Dichand family, and Raiffeisen Group.”

Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek (Düsseldorf):

Dr. Andreas Urban (Managing Partner, Corporate M&A, Lead)
Dr. Michael Sörgel (Partner, Corporate M&A)
Dr. Roland Reichert (Partner, Corporate M&A)
Dr. Rainer Velte (Partner, Antitrust)
Beatrice Stange (Salaried Partner, Antitrust)
Christian Liese (Associate, Corporate M&A)

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