Mediahuis has recently acquired the remaining 30% stake in German publisher Medienhaus Aachen GmbH. At the beginning of 2022, the European media group acquired 70% of the shares in Medienhaus Aachen GmbH from the founding families of “Aachener Zeitung”. The remaining 30% were held by Rheinische Post Mediengruppe, which has now sold its shares to Mediahuis. With this transaction, Medienhuis Aachen is now fully owned by Mediahuis.
The expansion of its operations into the German region of North Rhine-Westphalia in early 2022 was an important step for Mediahuis, which entered the German newspaper market for the first time.
As majority shareholder, Mediahuis guided the German publisher in its digital transformation project over the past two years. In doing so, Medienhaus Aachen could take full advantage of the knowledge and scale that Mediahuis has to offer as a group and was able to substantially accelerate its digital growth.
Paul Verwilt, COO Mediahuis group and chairman of Medienhaus Aachen: “Over the past two years, together with CEO Andreas Müller and the colleagues at Medienhaus Aachen, we have taken important steps in the digital development of both the organisation and its titles. After two years of constructive cooperation with Rheinische Post Mediengruppe, it has become clear that a structure with one shareholder instead of two media groups will benefit the further development of Medienhaus Aachen and will further accelerate its digital transformation. The fact that the publisher of Aachener Zeitung will now be 100% part of Mediahuis group underlines our belief in the further successful and sustainable future of Medienhaus Aachen and at the same time strengthens Mediahuis’ growth ambitions in the German market.”
Johannes Werle, CEO of Rheinische Post Mediengruppe: “Already several decades ago Rheinische Post Mediengruppe has become active in the Aachen region through its newspaper Aachener Nachrichten, the first newly licensed newspaper in Germany. As a consequence of the merger with Aachener Zeitung in 1975, our group has held a significant minority shareholder position in the merged company. Now it is time to close this chapter. Rheinische Post Mediengruppe will focus even stronger on the digitally well developed and controlled news brands in North Rine-Westphalia, Rhineland Palatinate and Saarland. We would like to thank all employees of Medienhaus Aachen for the good cooperation in the past and wish them all the best for the future.”
Medienhaus Aachen is active as a leading media group in the region of Aachen, Düren and Heinsberg (North Rhine-Westphalia). Besides publishing the newspaper Aachener Zeitung, the Medienhaus Aachen portfolio also includes other print and digital media, radio, logistics, fairs and postal services. The Medienhaus Aachen group employs 300 staff (excluding distribution).
Rheinische Post Mediengruppe is a medium-sized media company based in Düsseldorf. It publishes Rheinische Post, the highest-circulation daily newspaper in the Rhineland, and General-Anzeiger Bonn, the highest-circulation daily newspaper in Bonn and the Rhein-Sieg district. The media group holds a majority stake in Saarbrücker Zeitungsgruppe, which publishes the titles Saarbrücker Zeitung, Trierischer Volksfreund and Pfälzischer Merkur. The media group’s online portals are among the German daily newspapers with the widest reach, while its stake in markt.gruppe Holding secures a strong position in the digital classifieds business. The company also holds stakes in 16 radio stations and eight German advertising newspaper publishers with a weekly circulation of around 1.9 million copies. High-performance printing houses in Düsseldorf and Saarbrücken as well as highly specialised media in the transport and logistics sector complete the portfolio. It currently employs around 3,000 people in Germany and abroad (excluding distribution).
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. More than 30 national and regional news titles provide more than 10 million readers with news every day, both online and in print. The group has about 4,600 employees and an annual turnover of more than €1 billion.