Axel Springer, publisher of Europe’s largest tabloid Bild and German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 are in the early stages of mergers talks, people familiar with the companies told Handelsblatt.
It is the second time Axel Springer has tried to take over the broadcaster which airs the wildly popular Germany’s Next Top Model. Anti-trust authorities blocked a potential merger in 2006, but the publishing house hopes that this new deal, which would create one of Europe’s largest media groups, will get past the regulators. The new group would have combined sales of €5.9 billion and a joint market capitalization of €14.7 billion, or $16.1 billion, based on share prices on Tuesday morning.
If successful, the new group would shake up the German media landscape, which is dominated by family-controlled Bertelsmann, Germany’s largest media group which controls broadcaster RTL and publisher Random House and has sales of €16.6 billion.