Frankfurt/Main – Rhein Main Holding GmbH & Co. KG, a publishing group headquartered in Mainz, is acquiring the two Darmstadt-based companies Echo Medien GmbH and SLS Südhessische Logistik-Service GmbH & Co. KG. A purchase agreement to this effect has been signed with the shareholders. The transaction is currently awaiting approval from the competition authorities. The purchase price was not disclosed.
A team from CMS in Germany headed by lead partner Dr Oliver Wolfgramm advised the publisher and managing shareholder of Echo Medien, Dr Hans-Peter Bach, on all legal aspects of the sale. The law firm has thus again worked on a major transaction in the constantly changing German media market. As recently as early January 2015, CMS advised Holtzbrinck on the merger of Macmillan Science and Education with Springer Science+Business Media.
The Echo Medien Group publishes the "Darmstädter Echo" and five other regional newspapers in southern Hesse with a total circulation of 74,000 copies; the weekly newspaper "SüWo" has a print run of 350,000 copies. The intention is that the newspapers will continue to be published after the sale of the group. SLS is a sister company of Echo Medien GmbH and provides distribution services for in-house and external publications in the region. Each year it delivers more than 130 million print products. Founded in 1850, the Rhein Main publishing group is one of the oldest regional media firms in Germany and a leading information provider in the region. Through its "Rhein Main Presse" brand, the company produces 18 newspaper editions each day in Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate (including the "Wiesbadener Tagblatt", "Wiesbadener Kurier" and "Allgemeine Zeitung"), reaching up to 510,000 readers. The portfolio also includes several local newspapers, free sheets and some city magazines. For several years now, Echo Medien and the Rhein Main publishing group have been jointly operating the Rhein Main printing centre in Rüsselsheim, one of the most modern newspaper printing plants in Europe. Its four production lines can produce up to 180,000 newspapers with 48 four-colour pages per hour.
CMS Hasche Sigle
Dr Oliver Wolfgramm, Lead Partner
Dr Johannes Baare
Till Liebau, all Corporate/M&A
Carsten Domke, both Employment
Marcus Fischer, Tax
Michael Kamps, Media Law