Springer prepares bid for Polish web

Teuton giant in talks to acquire 25% in Polsat

MUNICH — Teuton publishing giant Axel Springer is close to acquiring a 25% stake in Poland’s largest commercial web Polsat for around Euros 250 million ($321 million).

Move would expand Springer’s already considerable presence in Poland. The conglom publishes tabloid Fakt and national daily Dziennik, as well as the Polish version of Newsweek, making it the country’s largest publisher.

It’s long been anticipated that Springer would try to enter the Polish television market, given that it needs a strong TV arm in order to keep growing as a media company. Circulation figures in the print market have been falling across Europe.

Springer’s 12% stake in ProSieben-Sat 1 and 27% stake in Teuton regional channel Hamburg 1 are seen as merely the start of a drive into the TV market.

In recent weeks, Springer has acquired a 25% stake in Turkish TV web Dogan and a 27.4% stake in Teuton regional channel TV Berlin.

In addition the conglom launched a digital TV division, Axel Springer Digital TV, which is to produce and market content for the Internet and other digital platforms.

Springer’s publishing rival Bertelsmann is also reported to be interested in Polsat. Springer is yet to comment on the deal.

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