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German media giant Axel Springer quits stock exchange

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German media giant Axel Springer announced Friday that it would begin delisting from the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, following its takeover by American investment firm KKR.

[BERLIN] German media giant Axel Springer announced Friday that it would begin delisting from the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, following its takeover by American investment firm KKR.

"Axel Springer SE plans to withdraw from the stock exchange," the group confirmed in a statement.

The withdrawal announcement from Springer, which has been listed on the MDax index for the last 35 years, comes after KKR bought 44.9 per cent of the company's shares to become principal shareholder in a deal concluded last year.

Springer publishes national print newspapers Bild and Die Welt, still media landmarks despite falling sales, and has pushed online with brands like Politico Europe and Business Insider.

Friede Springer, widow of the group's founder, and chief executive Mathias Doepfner retained their stakes of 42.6 and 2.8 per cent.

It will begin a withdrawal process to allow the remaining stakeholders - who hold around 10 per cent - to sell their shares before delisting.

2018 had seen Springer boost revenues 4.1 per cent, to 3.2 billion euros (S$4.77 billion), for an operating profit up 4.7 per cent at 528 million euros.

Some 70 per cent of the group's turnover now comes from its digital activities, especially classified advertising with brands like StepStone for jobs and Logic-Immo for property.

AFP