European media group Mediahuis has successfully completed the acquisition of the Aachener Verlagsgesellschaft (AVG). The German media group will from now on be 100% part of Mediahuis, which will also become the main shareholder (70%) of AVG’s subsidiary Medienhaus Aachen GmbH, publisher of the newspapers Aachener Zeitung and Aachener Nachrichten.
The acquisition of Aachener Verlagsgesellschaft fits in with Mediahuis’ ambition for growth, which is to evolve further as a leading European media player. For the media group, which in recent years has developed in Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland and Luxembourg, 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. Moreover, 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 project, further strengthen its independent regional journalism and successfully consolidate 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.
Mediahuis is one of the leading media groups in Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland and Luxembourg. As a publisher, Mediahuis unconditionally believes in independent journalism and strong, relevant media that make a positive contribution to people and society. With this vision in mind, Mediahuis permanently invests in its strong brands, both paper and digital. News titles including De Standaard, Het Nieuwsblad/De Gentenaar, Gazet van Antwerpen and Het Belang van Limburg in Belgium, NRC, De Telegraaf, Noordhollands Dagblad, De Limburger and Dagblad van het Noorden in the Netherlands, Irish Independent, Sunday Independent and Belfast Telegraph in Ireland and Luxemburger Wort in Luxembourg, provide millions of readers with daily news, both online and in print. In addition to these news brands, Mediahuis also operates a number of important digital marketplaces in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Ireland, mainly in the real estate, employment and automotive markets. With some 4,300 employees, Mediahuis realises an annual turnover exceeding €1 billion. More information about Mediahuis: www.mediahuis.com/en.
About Aachener Verlagsgesellschaft
Aachener Verlagsgesellschaft mbh (AVG) is the main shareholder of Medienhaus Aachen GmbH, which is a leading media group in the Aachen, Düren and Heinsberg region. AVG was wholly owned by the founding families of the former Aachener Volkszeitung, now Aachener Zeitung, Ernst, Hofmann and Maas. Aachener Verlagsgesellschaft holds 70% of the shares in Medienhaus Aachen GmbH; the remaining 30% are held by Aachener Nachrichten Verlagsgesellschaft GmbH (ANV), which has belonged to the Rheinische Post Mediengruppe since 1996. As a leading media and service provider in the region, Medienhaus Aachen GmbH today combines high-quality journalism with innovative concepts on a daily basis. Companies from the business fields of print, digital media, radio, logistics, events, trade fairs and postal services come under the umbrella of Medienhaus Aachen. The two daily newspapers Aachener Zeitung and Aachener Nachrichten are its core products. Every day, the regional subscription newspapers reach around 300,000 readers in print and 1 million unique users per month online in the Aachen city region and in the districts of Düren and Heinsberg. The publishing portfolio of the media house also includes regional freesheets (Aachener Zeitung am Sonntag) and service magazines (Klenkes, PurRegio, GastroGuide Euregio, FreitzeitGuide Euregio) as well as numerous online services and minority interests in other media companies. More information about Medienhaus Aachen: www.medienhausaachen.de.