Teuton giant to pay $333 million for stake in Polish group

BERLIN — Axel Springer said Monday it would acquire a 25.1% stake in leading Polish commercial broadcaster Telewizja Polsat for Euros 250 million ($333 million).

The German publishing giant has inked a binding purchase agreement to acquire the stake for that price but said the amount may rise by up to $66 million depending on the future value of the share.

Deal is subject to antitrust and regulatory approval.

Polsat is one of the two leading commercial TV broadcasting groups in Poland, operating five channels, Polsat, Polsat 2, a health channel and two sports channels.

The acquisition adds to the Berlin-based publisher’s print business in Poland, where Springer is the second biggest newspaper publisher by circulation, with dailies including Fakt and Dziennik as well as the Polish version of Newsweek.

Springer’s international expansion was hastened earlier this year after German antitrust watchdogs blocked the company’s takeover of Haim Saban’s ProSiebenSat 1, in which the publisher holds a 12% stake.

As part of that expansion, Springer also is buying a 25% stake in Dogan TV, Turkey’s largest television and broadcasting company, for $499 million. Dogan is currently among the highest bidders for ProSiebenSat 1, which is expected to sell by year’s end, so Springer may still end up with an indirect stake in the group.

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