Springer stake for sale

Hellman & Friedman also owns stake in ProSiebenSat 1

German publishing giant Axel Springer has said private equity firm Hellman & Friedman may sell a 10% stake in the company this year if the stock market remains “attractive.”

Hellman & Friedman, which also owns a stake in Germany’s ProSiebenSat 1 broadcasting group, has held a 19.4% stake in Berlin-based Axel Springer since 2003.

Axel Sprigner, publisher of Germany’s leading tabloid newspaper Bild, said Monday that Hellman & Friedman would sell the stake through the German stock market as well as in a private sale to international investors.

Hellman & Friedman bought the stake from Deutsche Bank in 2003 for E350 million ($438 million). Springer shares have almost doubled since then. Cost-cutting measures and further growth have helped return the company to profitability.

Springer sought to buy ProSiebenSat 1 earlier this year, but the deal was torpedoed by German antitrust regulators.

Hellman & Friedman owns a 19% stake in German Media Partners, the Haim Saban-led consortium that owns ProSiebenSat 1’s majority share.

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